Abahani survived a late score against Brothers Union in a thrilling 5-3 win in their Bangladesh Premier League encounter at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.
With the 16th victory, the Sky Blues raised their points tally to 48 from 19 matches, four behind leaders Bashundhara Kings, who however played a match less than Abahani’s 19. Brothers remained in relegation zone with 13 points in 18 matches.
Abahani, who handed a 4-0 defeat to Brothers in their first meeting, took a comfortable 3-0 lead within the first 21 minutes on a rain-soaked pitch as the Gopibagh-based outfit only watched the domination from the six-time champions.
Abahani hit the back of the net in the very first minute when Nabib Newaj Jibon tapped in a low-cross from Jewel Rana, who then scored twice in the 13th and 21st minutes. Abahani continued pressing hard and Sunday surprisingly sent the ball over the crosspiece with goalkeeper Sujan Chowdhury to beat in the 41st minute.
After resumption, Abahani looked in a relaxed mood as if they had already ensured the victory and they had to pay for their sluggish approach, with James Moga headed home a corner from Shafiqul Islam Shafi.
Six minutes later, Mannaf Rabbi reduced the margin by driving home a cross from substitute Minhazul Abedin Ballu to bring some excitement, but Abahani’s Nigerian striker Sunday Chizoba restored the two-goal cushion by tapping in cutback from Rubel Mia in the 86th minute.
Two minutes later, substitute Ballu made the scoreline 4-3 for Brothers to threaten Abahani, but top-scorer Sunday wrapped up Abahani’s victory scoring his 17th goal of the campaign deep into stoppage time.
In the other match of the day at the Shaheed Bulu Stadium in Noakhali, visitors Arambagh KS beat NoFeL SC 2-1.