Ctg Abahani shoot Sheikh Russel out
Chittagong Abahani moved into the semifinals of the Walton Federation Cup with a 4-2 win over Sheikh Russel KC in penalties at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.
The second quarterfinal rolled into the shootout after regulation and extra time produced a 1-1 draw as Chittagong Abahani cancelled out Sheikh Russel's 10th minute lead in the 13th minute.
Sheikh Russel handed Biplob Bhattacharjee the gloves just before the final whistle of extra time, but the former national goalkeeper was unable to stop a single shot from Chittagong Abahani while his teammates Kawsar Ali Rabbi and Uttam Kumar Banik fluffed their chances as the port city outfit sealed their last-four berth.
Though Chittagong Abahani's Udoka Alison, Mashuk Mia, Sohel Rana and Towhidul Alam Sabuz perfectly converted their spot-kicks, the team was really poor during regulation and extra time, with the exception of winger Zahid Hossain, who put on a dazzling performance throughout the match.
Chittagong Abahani should have sealed their victory during regulation time for the way they created opportunities, but Nigerian striker Afeez Olawale Loadipo, Sabuz and Zahid squandered at least three easy scoring chances.
The first half was an even affair with Sheikh Russel succeeding in their first attempt of the match during the 10th minute when Eleta Benjamin headed down a free-kick from Atiqur Rahman Meshu in front of Mehbub Hasan Nayan inside the box and the former Rahmatganj midfielder fired home from close range.
The lead lasted only three minutes though as goalkeeper Ziaur Rahman looked in hesitation to grip a long-ball and Zahid stepped up to tap the ball into the open net.
Chittagong Abahani established full control after restart with Zahid exposing the Sheikh Russel defence time and again from the right flank. Oladipo failed to connect to a Zahid cross in the six-yard box before Sabuz saw his miscued attempt go wide off the target.
Zahid found the easiest chance of the match in the 76th minute when Nurul Nayeem provided a defence-splitting through ball for the winger, who nutmegged one defender but failed to beat the goalkeeper from a one-on-one situation. Oladipo then incredibly floated the ball over the post four minutes into the first half of extra-time as the tie rolled into the penalty shootout.