Mohammedan stay alive
Fallen giants Mohammedan came from a goal down to beat Motijheel neighbours Arambagh KS 2-1 in an entertaining encounter at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday, keeping their hopes of a quarterfinal berth in the Walton Federation Cup alive.
Coming into the match on the back of a 2-1 defeat against Chittagong Abahani, Mohammedan found themselves in trouble when Arambagh's young winger Robiul Hasan opened the scoring, poking home a rebound after Mohammedan goalkeeper Rasel Mahmud Liton had parried away Rajon Mia's attempt.
But Syed Nayeemuddin's charges hit back in the 35th minute through Toklish Ahmed -- the former national team winger getting his second goal in two matches -- with a simple tap-in from a goalmouth scramble.
While Maruful Haque's Arambagh continued to impress with their enterprising display, it was a glaring howler from their young goalkeeper Mahfuz Hasan Pritom which gave the initiative to Mohammedan in the 66th minute. The inexperienced custodian made a meal of a backpass from a defender, miscuing his clearance, and Nkowcha Kingsley gleefully accepted the gift, poking home from six yards out.
The result means qualification from Group C will be decided on Thursday when Arambagh take on Chittagong Abahani in the group's final match. The Chittagong outfit have three points from one game while Arambagh are yet to open their account with a game in hand. Mohammedan, on the other hand, remain on three points, having played both their games.
Earlier, one-time champions Sheikh Russel Krira Chakra and three-time champions Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club moved into the quarterfinals after the former dispatched strugglers Farashganj SC 3-0.
Playing their first match of the competition, 2012-2013 champions Sheikh Russel cruised to the victory, thanks to a goal each from Dawda Cisse, Arup Baidya and Aminur Rahman Sajib in a lopsided affair of Group B at the big bowl. The victory for Sheikh Russel also meant fellow giants Sheikh Jamal, who had beaten the Old Dhaka outfit by the same margin on Sunday, are also through to the last eight.
The two qualified teams will take on each other tomorrow in the group's last match, which will also decide the group champions.
Dawda Cisse gave Shafiqul Islam Manik's side the lead in the 32nd minute, with a powerful diagonal shot from inside the box just a minute after Farashganj goalkeeper Borhanuddin had denied Mohammad Julfikar with a diving save. Veteran winger Arup Baidya doubled Sheikh Russel's lead seven minutes later, picking the corner of the net between two defenders. Sheikh Russel dominated the second half as well and wrapped up the victory soon after restart, with Aminur Rahman Sajib finding the back of the net with a placing shot in the 52nd minute.