MSC take solo lead
Mohammedan Sporting Club took a solo lead in the Grameen-phone Bangladesh League points table with a 2-1 win over their Chittagong namesakes at the Birshreshtha Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur yesterday.
An opportunistic strike in the first half from centre-forward Anwar Hossain, doubled in the second half by Roni Islam gave the Motijheel tent breathing space before Liberian forward Jerry Odesco reduced the margin for the black and whites from Chittagong. Mohammedan had a player sent off, which added an interesting finale to the battle.
Mohammedan coach Shafiqul Islam Manik was cautiously optimistic about his side's perfect record in the season. He felt it was just the beginning of the season and could not count on the start.
“The season has just started. So, it won't be too wise to read too much from just three results. Nevertheless it's always pleasing to win,” said the former national midfielder.
The game had a very quiet pace about it in the first half as there were very few attacking intents from either sides. However, Mohammedan took the lead with a fortuitous goal when Anwar finished with an easy tap-in after goalkeeper Khaled Azam failed to clear a cross from Emeka Christian. The keeper though, after that initial mistake, made amends and foiled a few attacks valiantly.
Eleven minutes after the restart, Chittagong Mohammedan skipper Farhad missed a glorious chance when he drilled the ball right on the body of Mohammedan keeper Titumir Chowdhury. Fellow striker Jerry, who was waiting in front of the goal, was left pounding the ground in frustration.
Winger Akbar Hossin came in for goalscorer Anwar on the hour-mark and made immediate impact, floating an excellent cross for Emeka whose header however was saved by the keeper. Rony then doubled the lead with another easy tap-in on a goalbound ball in the 71st minute, after Amani's initial shot was parried away by Khaled and Akbar's rebound was only half-stopped.
But the leaders were reduced to ten men when defender Emeka Lucky received straight marching orders for being involved in a scuffle with an opposition player. The Chittagong team made their man-advantage count as Jerry turned in an expert cross from Farhad down the left flank with seven minutes of regulation time left. But the Motijheel tent held on to the slender lead for the remaining minutes, albeit nervously, to eke out their third win in as many matches.
Mohammedan Sporting: Titumir, Arafat, Amani, Sharif, Anwar (Akbar), Emeka, Ismail, Roni, Ramzan, Yeasin, Lucky.
Ctg Mohammedan: Khaled Azam, Tommy, Gray, Sumon, Farhad, Jerry, Blamo, Shujon, Morshed (Razu), Nazir, Khaled
Red Card: Emeka Lucky Uti