MSCs meet in semis
Mohammedan set a clash against their Chittagong namesake while Brothers Union will be pitted against hot favourites Abahani in the semifinals of the Citycell Super Cup after the group stage ended yesterday.
Mohammedan emerged group champions after their 1-1 draw with Brothers in the last match of Group B following Farashganj's 2-0 win over Chittagong Abahani at the Bangabandhu National Stadium.
Nigerian forward John Goodwin shot Mohammedan ahead on his debut but Brothers' Ghana striker Henry Quaye levelled the scores as Mohammedan finished with seven points and Brothers on five.
Farashganj (four points) and pointless Chittagong Abahani enter the consolation Plate competition where Sheikh Russel meet Chittagong Abahani and Farashganj face Rahmatganj in the semis.
Brothers' place in the last four was ensured after Farashganj collected full points with goals either side of halftime from Khokon Das and Ugandan Idris Mutubi in the day's first match.
Mohammedan and Brothers were engaged in a battle to win the group and avoid Abahani in the knockout phase and in the end, Maruful Haque's side succeeded but had to pay a heavy price.
Key midfielder Enamul Haque Sharif, who committed a clumsy challenge on Brothers' Matiur Munna to get the marching order in the final minute of the game for his second bookable offence, will miss Mohammedan's first-leg of the semifinals against Chittagong Mohammedan on March 20.
Although the first half was a treat to watch, it was all muscles after the break that frustrated the crowd who came to witness the two giants.
Wasim Iqbal's side got the first real chance after two minutes but Henry fired wide after hard work by Shakil at the left wing.
Mohammedan did not take too long to reassert and went ahead in the seventh minute. Alamu Bukola was denied by the post when the Nigerian headed a curling freekick by captain Arman Aziz but Goodwin, making his maiden appearance in Dhaka, rifled the rebound into the roof of the net to spark wild celebrations.
The delight lasted little time as Henry struck the equaliser within eight minutes.
Oranges' inspirational midfielder Zahid Hossain drove the ball from the edge of the area after one of his defence splitting runs but the ball deflected off rival centre-back Saikat to Henry, whose magnificent side volley gave Aminul no chance at the Mohammedan goal.
Brothers took control after hitting back at the Black and Whites, who survived a few close calls before halftime under constant threat.
Henry nodded a cross by Mishu over the bar while Saikat's sliding tackle stopped Rikto from taking the final shot
Both sides got physical after resumption and referee Azad Rahman had to put Brothers midfield duo Munna and Rikto on his book before cautioning Arman Aziz.
The heat also crossed the line and Brothers manager Amer Khan added fuel by showing agitation, sparking the Gopibagh outfit fans to hurl chairs and missiles to the ground.
As Brothers kept missing chance after chance, Mohammedan sat back to hold on to a draw that was enough for them to win the group.
After the match, Mohammedan coach Maruf admitted his team's poor show.
"Brothers Union looked like a very charged unit and dominated the game. Overall, we played bad but hope to recover in the semis," Maruf told.
Brothers coach Wasim, on the other hand, blasted the referee.
"The referee was too harsh on my players and spoiled our rhythm with poor decisions. We played to win but it was not to be," the former national winger said.