MSC shatter Sk Russel's dream
Sheikh Russel Krira Chakra were all but out of the race for the Grameenphone Bangladesh League title as they lost to Mohammedan Sporting Club 0-1 at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.
Sunday Chizoba, Mohammedan's Nigerian striker, scored the all-important goal in the 25th minute to muster the first win for the Black and Whites over a higher-ranked team in this edition of the league.
The win took Mohammedan to 29 points from 20 matches but more importantly kept Sheikh Russel on 39 points with just two matches left for both teams. Sheikh Jamal are leading the table with 44 points, followed by Muktijodhha Sangsad on 43, both with three games in hand.
Sheikh Russell coach Mahmudul Haque Liton did not hide his frustration at the defeat.
“The title race is over for us, and I am not even looking at a second-placed finish. We just want to win the two remaining matches and let's see where we can finish in the end,” said Liton.
The Black and Whites dominated the match from the beginning and despite missing a couple of chances took the lead in the 25th minute, courtesy of Sunday who took his tally in the league to 12 goals from nine appearances. Sunday sped through the right side into the box after being fed by compatriot Nnadi Victor. The prolific striker dodged the on-rushing goalie Mamun Khan before placing it at the back of the net.
Sheikh Russel defender Bappi kept Mohammedan from doubling the lead when he cleared a header from Baybeck off the line at the stroke of half time.
Russell's best chance in the game came at the 59th minute but substitute midfielder Mobarak's shot landed straight into the gloves of Mohammedan goalie Titumir Chowdhury.
Mohammedan coach Shafiqul Islam Manik, who has overseen this traditional club fall by the wayside, blamed poor finishing from strikers and poor refereeing for their poor league standing. “We have not played badly in the league. It was due to some poor finishing from our strikers and some poor refereeing that were responsible for our previous losses,” Manik said.
“However, I am satisfied with today's result and hopefully we will play like this and win the remaining two matches.”