Super-sub Tipu | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, May 13, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, May 13, 2009

AFC President's CupQualifiers 2009

Super-sub Tipu

Abahani edge SL Army 2-1


Abahani striker Shahajuddin Tipu (L) celebrates after scoring the winner in their President's Cup match against Sri Lanka Army at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.Photo: STAR

Shahajuddin Tipu fired Abahani to a win against Sri Lanka Army in the opening match of the AFC President's Cup Group B qualifiers at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.
The seasoned striker, who is still affectionately remember for his fabulous strike against India in the semifinal of the 1999 SAF Games football in Nepal, came off the bench in the 72nd minute and made an immediate effect as the B. League champions secured a 2-1 victory over lackluster Sri Lankan side.
In his first touch, three minutes after his arrival, Tipu produced a side volley on a re-bounder inside the box to electrify the sparse crowd at the big bowl under lights.
The popular Dhanmondi outfit had to wait for Tipu's late surge to secure the full points though they dictated the terms and the score-line hardly showed how poor the performance of their opponents was in the one-sided affair.
And Tipu's match-winner definitely consoled his teammate Samad Yussif most as the Ghanaian defender almost shattered the Sky Blue's party by scoring an own goal soon after the local side took a 1-0 lead through a Wali Faisal's strike in the 42nd minute.
"We had a faith on Tipu and he proved his worth again. It was a fantastic goal," said Abahani's stand-in captain and goalkeeper Biplob who rued his team's missed chances.
"We dominated the proceeding all through the match but failed to capitalise on the chances. It was not their (Sri Lanka Army) defense rather our strikers going out of business. But I don't want to blame them because we played this game after a long break and Emily just returned from an injury," said the experienced custodian.
He promised better football in their last group match against formidable Ashgabat Football Club from Turkmenistan, which will take place on May 16 at the same venue.
Back to the match, Abul got the first chance to put Abahani ahead in the 12th minute but the lanky midfielder failed to connect his head on Mamunul's corner and then Emily made a soft header on Zahid Parvez cross from handshaking distance to reach the safe hands of the opponents goalkeeper Fernando.
In the 38th minute, Ghanaian striker Awudu Ibrahim's right-footed salvo narrowly missed the target.
Wali Faisal finally broke the deadlock when his fierce right-footer from out of the box reached home but it took only two minutes to see the score level 1-1 as Samad made a stupid mistake for his side.
Samad tried to clear a low-cross from Izzadeen but only to see the ball kiss his own net to stun the local crowd.
After the breather Abahani continued their domination but promising striker Emily missed two easy chances besides Abul and Ibrahim.
Abahani at last brought Tipu in place of Emily and the experienced striker made no mistake to capitalise on his first chance to keep his side's chances alive for a semifinal berth.
TEAMS
ABAHANI:
Biplob, Sujan, Mamunul, Pranatosh (Nazrul), Emily (Tipu), Zahed, Siraji, Yussif, Abul (Joy), Faisal and Ibrahim.
SRI LANKA ARMY: Fernando, Wijesiri, Murshid, Izzadeen, Jaya Thunga, Lasantha, Kanna, De Silva (Sukarshan), Warakagoda and Priyankara (Dahanayaka).

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