Zico turns hero as Kings regain Independence Cup title
Bashundhara Kings regained the title of Independence Cup with a 4-1 win over Sheikh Russel KC in tiebreaker after the final match ended in a 2-2 draw in regulation and added time at Shaheed Dhirendra Nath Datta Stadium in Cumilla on Monday.
Kings' goalkeeper Anisur Rahman Zico turned the hero of the shootout after stopping two shots from Sheikh Russel's Sohel Rana and Khalekurzzaman before himself stepping up to convert the fourth and decisive attempt. Brazilian forwards Robson Robinho and Dorielton Gomes alongside Iranian defender Reza Khan Zadeh converted the first three spot kicks before Zico's winning effort in front of thousands of spectators.
In the keenly-contested final, Brazilian attacking midfielder Miguel Ferreira gave Kings a first-minute lead after snatching the ball from Sheikh Russel defender Yeasin Khan, who was also guilty in conceding the second goal.
Nigerian striker Mfon Sunday Udoh brought Sheikh Russel back in the match with a header in the 12th minute before Charles Didier of Ivory Coast gave them hope of a revenge for their 2018 Independence Cup defeat against the same side by converting a spot-kick in the 33rd minute.
However, Kings took only 11 minutes to level the margin when Robson converted from the spot after Yeasin tackled Miguel from behind inside the box.
After resumption, both teams tried to take the lead but none of them could do it as the two goalkeepers made a couple of excellent saves to keep their sides in the match.
Kings looked a bit better in extra time but goalkeeper Ashraful Islam Rana frustrated them before Zico made a brilliant save from a goal-bound free-kick from Uzbek Talipov in the final minute. The national team's No 1 shot-stopper took that momentum into the shootout and helped Kings to a silverware in the season's opening tournament.