Feni Soccer Club enforced a relegation playoff against Uttar Baridhara Club after beating Muktijoddha Sangsad in their final match of the JB Bangladesh Premier League at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.
The side from the country's south eastern part were three points behind second-from-bottom Uttar Baridhara Club coming into their final league fixture. And thanks to Shahran Howlader's 47th minute strike and Ntim Twum Frank's 89th minute header, together with Muktijoddha's lacklustre body language, Feni were able to accomplish what they came to do – snatch all three points from this match.
Although Feni wasted a spot kick early in the game and saw one of their players sent off deep into stoppage time, those things hardly mattered in the end as they found a vital lifeline to stay in top-flight where they have been constantly playing since their debut in the 2009 season.
The result means that for the first time in nine editions, the top-tier professional football league will decide relegation through a play-off, the dates for which will be revealed later.
The win took Feni's tally to 18 points, level with Uttar Baridhara, while Muktijoddha finished their campaign on joint fourth position with 30 points.
In the second match of the day, Team BJMC and Arambagh Krira Sangha shared the spoils of a 0-0 draw. Arambagh finished the league in sixth position with 27 points while Team BJMC finished with two points less in ninth position.
While the league was extended to a relegation deciding play-off, the championship was decided on the previous day, with Abahani scooping their fifth title in the professional football league era. Newcomers Chittagong Abahani finished second and three-time champions Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club came up third.
The top-scorer's chart, like the previous years, was dominated by the foreign players. Sunday Chizoba, who played a key role in delivering Abahani's title, finished the chart with with 20 goals, followed by Nkowcha Kingsley of Brothers Union and Samson Illiasu on 14 goals each, Augustine Walson of Brothers Union on 13 and Siyo Zunapio of Rahmatganj MFS on 11 goals.