Kings bounce back after hiccup
Bashundhara Kings returned to winning ways in the Bangladesh Premier League yesterday as the defending champions inflicted an emphatic 3-0 defeat on struggling Muktijoddha Sangsad at the Bangabandhu National Stadium.
Three South Americans, comprising the Brazilian duo of forward Robson Da Silva and midfielder Jonathan Fernandes and Argentine striker Raul Becerra, scored a goal each to steer the league leaders to their 17th win from 19 games, strengthening their stranglehold on top with 52 points, 14 more than second-placed Sheikh Jamal, who have two games in hand. Muktijoddha Sangsad are 11th with 14 points from 18 matches.
Meanwhile at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalpur,
Sheikh Russel also rode on goals from their foreign trio of Siyovush Asrorov, Obi Moneke and Baktyir Duisobekov to beat bottom-side Arambagh 3-0 and rise to the sixth in the table with 30 points from 19 matches. Arambagh remain glued to the bottom of the 13-team table with just 5 points.
The tie between Bashundhara Kings and Muktijoddha Sangsad was expected to be intense, especially after Kings were defeated by Chattogram Abahani and Muktijoddha Sangsad recorded a stunning triumph over Abahani in their previous matches. But Bashundhara Kings afforded no space for a further upset, dominating from the outset.
Spanish coach Oscar Bruzon kept Nigeria-born striker Eleta Kingsly out of the starting eleven, instead drafting in Mahbubur Rahman Sufil, who made some smart runs but had little impact before a combination of Jonathan, Becerra and Robson broke the deadlock in the 20th minute.
Jonathan started the move on the right before chipping the ball to Becerra, who played a cut-back into the path of Robson and the league's top-scorer made no mistake in striking his 18th goal of the campaign. Becerra then doubled the lead in the 55th minute with a placed shot from inside the box after availing a square pass from Jonathan.
A dipping shot from 25 yards in the 77th minute from Jonathon ultimately sealed the result, which could have been an embarrassing one had Muktijoddha Sangsad goalkeeper Mohammad Razib not made some brilliant saves in either half.