Bashundhara Kings revive AFC Cup campaign
Bashundhara Kings fought back from a goal down to beat Odisha FC 3-2 at the Kings Arena today to bring their AFC Cup campaign back on track.
Dorielton Gomes scored twice after Miguel Figueira had drawn the home team level following an early goal from the visitors. However, the Bangladesh Premier League champions, who lost their opening fixture 3-1 away to Maziya S&RC, would have to be more clinical in front of goal when they play their next match against Mohun Bagan in Bhubaneshwar on the 24th of this month after having missed a plethora of goalscoring chances in today's game.
Bashundhara Kings started with two changes from the match against Maziya, with Mehedi Hasan replacing goalkeeper Anisur Rahman Zico and Miguel replacing Sheikh Morsalin in attack. Those two were forced changes as Bashundhara Kings were missing five players from their squad due to club-imposed suspension on disciplinary ground.
Although the home team started the game brightly, they got on the backfoot pretty early Mauricio de Brito beat Mehedi with a diagonal shot following a clever through-ball from Laldinliana Renthlei on 19 minutes.
Laldinliana then turned Odisha's rescuer 12 minutes later, sliding in front of goal to block a goalbound shot attempt from Robson Robinho, who had the goal at his mercy following a clever cutback from Dorielton.
Dorielton then failed to keep his diagonal shot on target from inside the box after a neat one-two with Robinho in the 36th minute, but the persistent pressure paid off three minutes later when an unmarked Figueira headed home from close range after Robinho's toe-poked attempt deflected off an Odisha player.
Dorielton gave the home side the lead on the stroke of half-time with a powerful header on a perfectly weighted cross from Rakib Hossain as the home team went into the lemon break with a slender lead.
Dorielnton extended Bashundhara's lead nine minutes after restart with a clinical finish on a clever through-ball from Robinho. The Brazilian striker, who had been much maligned in recent times over his performance against Sharjah FC in the AFC Champions League playoff and against Maziya in the first AFC Cup fixture, took off his shirt in wild celebration.
Odisha's substitute forward Roy Krishna's header came off the far post in the 58th minute before Jerry Lalrinzuala reduced the margin with a shot from inside the box in the 66th minute after Mehedi's fist on a cross from Sakamoto fell to him.
Chances kept coming at both ends in the dying stages of the match, with Dorielton missing a golden opportunity to clinch a hatrick and then Boburbek Yuldashov's flying header bouncing off the crossbar.
Roy Krishna had another header come off the crossbar from point-blank range at the other end as Bashundhara just about held on to the one-goal lead to leave the pitch with a crucial victory.