Last-gasp effort lifts Russel
A late goal from Faisal Mahmud guided Sheikh Russel KC to their fourth victory in the Grameenphone Bangladesh Premier League as the visitors inflicted a lone-goal defeat on hosts Team BJMC at the Tangail Stadium yesterday.
The outcome took Sheikh Russel KC to fourth position with 14 points from 10 outings while BJMC remained stuck on third position with 16 points from 10 matches.
Fresh from a 3-0 win over Farashganj SC, Sheikh Russel KC adopted a counter-attack-based game against BJMC who had held Muktijoddha Sangsad to a goalless in their previous home game. In the end, the visitors left the field with heads held high after securing the full three points that also raised their hopes of returning to the title race again.
Faisal Mahmud, who came on in place of winger Mohammad Yousuf at the 80th minute, struck the decisive goal in the 84th minute to justify his coach's decision.
“As they (BJMC) have an advantage on home ground, we played a counter-attack-based game and were successful at the end,” said Sheikh Russel coach Maruful Haq.
Sheikh Russel also created two to three chances in the first half but striking duo Anwar Hossain and Nigerian Alamu Bukola Olaleken could not avail any of them despite being in good positions.
“Now we have a 10-point gap with leaders Abahani and I still see some hope of returning to the title race as all teams have to play 10 more matches in the second half,” said Maruf.
Team BJMC dominated from the outset and Guinean striker Ismael Bangura himself squandered five chances, even failing to beat opponent goalkeeper Biplob Bhattacharjee twice in one-on-one situations.
“If Ismael could have converted the 50 percent chances he got, we would never have dropped any points in the 10 matches we played so far and he would have been the highest scorer,” said a disappointed BJMC coach Jakaria Babu.
Babu said Sheikh Russel availed the lone chance they got in the whole match.
Despite conceding the second defeat, Babu is still optimistic about winning the title as he believes there is still a lot to be done in the second leg of the professional football league.