Bashundhara Kings registered an empathic 3-0 win over Chittagong Abahani in a Bangladesh Premier League encounter at the Sheikh Kamal Stadium in Nilphamari yesterday. With this win, the newcomers remained undefeated throughout the tournament's first phase and are subsequently leading in the title race.
With the full three points, Bashundhara kept their top of the table position intact with 34 points from 12 matches, four points ahead of the second-placed Abahani while Chittagong Abahani stayed glued to eighth position with 14 points from 12 matches.
Independence cup champions Bashundhara had gotten their noses ahead of Chittagong Abahani yesterday easily enough but only after facing a few stiff challenges from the port city side in the first half.
Fresh from a morale boosting 3-0 victory over NoFel SC in the previous match, the visiting Chittagong Abahani looked the more confident side on the pitch, fighting neck to neck against the mighty Bashundhara, who came into the match on the back of five straight wins. However, Chittagong Abahani eventually crumbled in stoppage time of the first half due to some sloppy defending.
Bashundhara fielded a full-strength team with four foreign recruits in their ranks but that made little difference as it was midfielder Emon Babu who toiled away in the midfield to provide some fine defence splitting passes to the forwards.
With the clock ticking down on the second minute of the three-minute added time of the first half, Emon played a long ball towards Daniel Colindres at the far post. The Costa Rican midfielder then controlled the ball well to cut it back for Kyrgyz forward Bakhtiyar Duyshobekov. In turn, Duyshobekov drove an angular shot, which took a deflection off a Chittagong Abahani defender before finding its way into the back of the net.
After resumption, Chittagong Abahani tried to stage a comeback but they could hardly expose Bashundhara's backline. The home side doubled the lead in the 78th minute, courtesy of another blunder by a Chittagong Abahani defender, who deposited the ball in front of Colindres rather than clear a through-pass from Marcos Vinicius. Colindres grabbed the opportunity with both hands and drove a shot past substitute goalkeeper Rasel Mahmud Liton from the top of the box. Vinicius then wrapped things up with a volley off of an Emon Babu cross which found its way into the six-yard box six minutes from time.
Away at Shaheed Bulu Stadium in Noakhali, NoFel Sporting Club held three-time champions Sheikh Jamal DC to a goalless draw on their home turf, where they had previously beaten Brothers Union 2-0 and Mohammedan SC 1-0.
With their second draw at home, NoFel raised their points tally to nine from 12 matches with eight of those points coming from the matches played at the Shaheed Bulu Stadium. Meanwhile, with five draws in 12 matches Sheikh Jamal remained at seventh position on 14 points.