Abahani demolish haphazard Ajax
Title aspirants Abahani shrugged off a challenge from Ajax SC to hand them an emphatic 5-1 loss in the Green Delta Insurance Premier Division Hockey League at Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium last night.
This victory, their fourth consecutive win in as many matches, put the Club Cup championships on top of the 12-team table with 12 points, three points ahead of holders Dhaka Mariner Youngs Club and Mohammedan SC, who have played one match less.
Abahani came into the encounter on the back of three massive wins over Bangladesh Police (10-0), Victoria SC (8-0) and Bangladesh SC (10-0) but found the going tough against Ajax SC, who fielded four Indian players in an attempt to give their superior opponents a run for their money.
Abahani had to wait for 21 minutes before penalty corner specialist Ashraful Islam opened their account by converting their first penalty. He then doubled the lead from the spot two minutes later when the referee whistled for a 'controversial stroke' after originally signalling for an out.
Krishna Kumar made it 3-0 in the 31st minute but Ajax pulled one goal back in the 45th minute. Krishna scored again to make it 4-1 in the 57th minute before Ashraful completed his hat-trick in the 67th minute by converting their second penalty.
“The players were probably a bit down with the inclusion of four foreign players and that's why they played haphazardly in the initial moments but they controlled the game when with crisp passing. I am happy to secure the full three points,” said Abahani coach Mahbub Harun.
“The second goal was the turning point in the game as the penalty stroke was a wrong decision. After going two goals down, the players could not concentrate fully. Besides, there was a bit of a misunderstanding between the local and foreign players,” said Ajax SC coach Hedayetullah Razib. This was Ajax's second defeat in three matches.