Newly-signed striking duo Otabek Zokirov and Alessandro Celin both found the back of net in their second match of the Bangladesh Premier League as Saif Sporting Club notched an emphatic 3-0 win over visiting Team BJMC at the Rafique Uddin Bhuiyan Stadium in Mymensingh yesterday.
Fresh from a 2-1 away win over Rahmatganj in their previous match, Saif SC dominated from the start against bottom-placed BJMC and took the lead in the fourth minute as Uzbek forward Otabek found the net from a free-kick. Colombian defender Deiner Cordoba headed home in the 34th minute to double the lead.
Brazilian forward Celin fired home a glancing header to ensure Saif SC’s ninth win from 14 matches.
Fourth-placed Saif SC raised their points tally to 30 and are seven points behind leaders Bashundhara Kings, who have a game in hand. Meanwhile BJMC -- who defeated Saif 1-0 in their first meeting in Noakhali -- suffered a tenth defeat from 14 matches and are bottom with four points.
SHEIKH JAMAL VS MUKTIJODDHA SANGSAD
At the Bangabandhu National Stadium (BNS), Sheikh Jamal restored some pride after playing out a 1-1 draw at home against Muktijoddha Sangsad, who humiliated the three-time champions 3-0 in Gopalganj.
Gambia’s Solomon King put Sheikh Jamal ahead with a header in the eighth minute before Muktijoddha levelled through a volley from Japanese midfielder Yousuke Kato in the 34th minute. After the battle between the two mid-table sides, Muktijoddha Sangsad and Sheikh Jamal remain in their previous seventh and eighth positions with 16 and 15 points respectively.
CTG ABAHANI VS RAHMATGANJ
In another game at the BNS, Rahmatganj surprised Chittagong Abahani 2-1 to notch their third win from 14 games. Their previous meeting in Dhaka had ended in a draw.
The triumph helped the Old Dhaka outfit raise their points tally to 15 but they remain ninth while Chittagong Abahani remain seventh with 17 points from 14 matches.
Nigeria’s Kingsley Chigozie converted a penalty in the 24th minute to give Rahmatganj the lead, but it lasted only two minutes before Sohel Rana found the back of Rahmatganj’s net with a powerful drive from inside the box. Landing Darboe struck the winning goal in the 72nd minute after Siyo Zunapio chested down a cross from the right.
Sheikh Russel vs Brothers Union
Sheikh Russel closed the gap with leaders Bashundhara Kings after notching a 3-1 win over struggling Brothers Union at the Sylhet District Stadium. The Blues now have 33 points from 15 matches, equal with Abahani and three behind the leaders, although the latter two have a game in hand. Sheikh Russel had beaten Brothers 3-2 in the reverse fixture.
New-signing Valerii Hrysher gave Sheikh Russel a lead in the 37th minute with a placed shot before Raphael Odoyin struck twice in the 47th and 78th minutes to ensure a 10th victory from 14 matches. Minhajul Abedin Ballu reduced the margin in the 82nd minute but Brothers could not avert an eighth defeat from 13 matches.