Defending champions Abahani staged a brilliant comeback, beating Saif SC 4-1 in an ill-tempered Bangladesh Premier League fixture at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.
Abahani, who came into the match on the back of a morale-shattering 4-0 defeat against Mohammedan and knew a slip-up might hand the title over to Bashundhara Kings, made the worst possible start, conceding the lead through a superbly-taken volley by Saif SC forward Denier Cordoba in the 37th minute.
But the Sky Blues got a lifeline in the 50th minute when Saif SC goalkeeper Saiful Islam brought down their striker Nabib Newaz Jibon inside the box, with Sunday Chizoba converting the spot-kick.
Minutes later, the referee awarded another spot-kick to Abahani, this time over an alleged foul on Abahani’s Saad Uddin. The Saif SC players protested while Abahani defender Masih Saighani elbowed one of Saif SC players, getting a shove back in return from Emery Bayisenge. Both Saighani and Bayisenghe were sent off before Jibon converted the spot-kick.
Sunday added a second in the 65th minute before Mamunul Islam made it 4-1 in the 80th minute. Saif SC players protested even after the match, with captain Jamal Bhuiyan earning a red card. The win lifted Abahani to 54 points from 22 matches, four behind Bashundhara Kings while Saif SC remained on 41 points from 21 matches.
Sheikh Jamal brush aside Ctg Abahani
Three-time champions Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club moved to 27 points from 22 matches following a 2-0 victory over Chittagong Abahani at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.
Gambian forward Ebou Kanteh gave the Dhanmondi giants the lead in the fifth minute with a powerful shot from inside the box following a throw-in while Solomon King Kanform wrapped up the victory eight minutes before the break with a screamer of a strike from 25 yards.
The win consolidated the former champions’ sixth position on the 13-team table while Chittagong Abahani remained just behind them in seventh position with 23 points from 21 matches.
Arambagh win a nine-goal affair
Arambagh handed a 6-3 defeat to visitors Rahmatganj in a high-scoring affair of the Bangladesh premier League at the Rafique Uddin Bhuiyan Stadium in Mymensingh.
Arambagh took the lead through Arifur Rahman in the 16th minute but Sohel Rana equalised for the visitors 10 minutes later. Rakibul Hasan gave Rahmatganj the lead in the 41st minute, but Chinedu Mathew brought the hosts to parity two minutes after restart. Paul Emile scored twice while Bappi and Arifur scored one each as Arambagh took a 6-2 lead by the 78th minute. Siyo Zunapio scored from the spot to make it 6-3 in the 84th minute.