Newcomers Bashundhara Kings took a solo lead in the Bangladesh Premier League with a 2-0 win over promoted NoFeL Sporting Club at the Sheikh Kamal Stadium in Niphamari yesterday.
Striker Matin Mia gave the contenders the lead in the 23rd minute before Emon Babu wrapped up the win in the 85th minute, ensuring a third straight win for the Independence Cup champions and helping the side to a maximum nine points, three clear of Arambagh, Abahani, Saif SC and Sheikh Russel KC, with the last having a game in hand.
Fresh off a 3-0 win over defending champions Abahani, Bashundhara got off to a strong start against a side they drew 1-1 to in this year's Federation Cup. However, they had beaten the same opposition twice on way to becoming champions of the Bangladesh Championship League last season.
Costa Rican World Cupper Daniel Colindres was the nucleus of Bashundhara's attacks and he set up Matin for the first goal. Availing a long ball, Colindres threaded a forward pass inside the danger zone and Matin brilliantly flicked the ball home over an advancing NoFeL SC goalkeeper. Colindres was denied by the woodwork from a free-kick in the 29th minute.
However the big spenders did get a second goal five minutes from time when Brazilian striker Marcos Vinicius saw his back-heel parried outside the box from where an unmarked Emon drove home.
MSC FALL TO BROTHERS
In the battle of two falling giants, Brothers Union had the last laugh, with Jack Daniels scoring an eye-catching goal six minutes into the second half to give the All Oranges their first win in two matches.
Having come into the match on the back of a humiliating 4-1 defeat to Arambagh, Mohammedan played much better and dominated proceedings, but luck was not with them as their striking pair of Eleta Kingsley and Landing Darboe squandered a number of scoring chances in the second half.
After surviving a few scares in the first half, Brothers scored against the run of play when Brazilian duo Everton Santoz and Lima Leonardo played a one-two before squaring it up to Daniels, who shot past Mohammedan goalkeeper Sarwar Jahan from the top of the box.
Landing failed to equalise despite twice getting Brothers goalkeeper Sujan Chowdhury alone while Kingsley squandered two easy chances, sealing a second defeat for the Black and Whites.
"I'm really happy with the goal as our team won even though we were on the back foot in the match," retorted 24-year-old Daniels, who earlier played in Canada and El Salvador.
"I had scored a goal from a similar position during the Federation Cup. To be honest, I have scored 10 to 12 similar goals in my playing career. Now I'm looking forward to scoring at least 12 goals in the league," added Daniels.