Kings create history with hattrick BPL title
Bashundhara Kings sealed the title of the 2022 Bangladesh Premier League with two matches in hand after notching up a 2-0 win over hosts Saif Sporting Club at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Ft Lt Matiur Rahman Stadium in Munshiganj today.
The 16th victory in the competition steered Kings to an unassailable lead with 51 points from 20 matches, 10 points ahead of their nearest rival Abahani, who have three matches left to play.
With Kings needing only three points from remaining three matches to ensure the hattrick title of the professional football league, a feat shared by Abahani, the two-time champions had to suffer a setback from the start as on-song Brazilian forward Robson Da Silva was sidelined due to the muscle injury before fit-again Iranian defender Khalid Shafiei came into the pitch in the second half in place of forward Towhidul Alam Sabuj.
Before the match began, most of the players from both sides appeared in a friendly mood in the tunnel but personal relations turned sour once the referee blew the whistle at kick-off.
The match was full of intensity from the word go as every time there was a foul, the players of both teams invariably converged and were seen to push and shove on occasions.
The aggressive approach of both sides saw Bashundhara King's left-back Yeasin Arafat get the marching order following two bookable offences and some Saif players were also booked.
Hosts Saif, who lost their first-leg match 3-4 to Kings, were spirited and got off to a fine start and launched the first attack but Kings goalkeeper Anisur Rahman Zico frustrated Miraj Hossain and Mfon Sunday Udoh in the 18th minute.
Visiting Kings then gradually established their control in the match to create three good chances, in which one attempt from Brazilian Miguel Ferrira came off the crossbar and one was capitalised by Matin Mia.
In the 23rd minute, Miguel diagonally ran down from the right flank before letting loose a powerful left-footer on the top of the box but rattled the crossbar. Five minutes later, Spanish forward Noha Morang being fed by Miguel was denied by Saif goalkeeper Pappu Hossain but Matin, assisted by Miguel, drove home inside the box in the 28th minute.
With Oscar Bruzon's side in the diving seat, left-back Yeasin Arafat picked up a second yellow card after fouling Rahim Uddin, forcing Kings into the back seat with 10 men in the 37th minute.
After resumption, Oscar Bruzon strengthened his backline sending central-back Khalid in place of forward Sabuz and the Iranian defender made some good defending to frustrate the Saif forwards while goalkeeper Zico also denied Miraj twice before substitute Biplu Ahmed sealed off the match striking from outside the box, leaving the two Saif defenders ball-watching.
Despite trailing by two goals, Saif's went all out to reduce the margin but Zico once again denied Sunday from a free kick while Noha made a goal-line save in the dying minutes to leave the ground on a high.