Robin shoots Muktis into qtrs
A late winner from substitute striker Mohammad Robin took Muktijoddha Sangsad KC to the quarterfinals of the Walton Federation Cup as they pipped Chittagong Abahani to a 1-0 defeat in their Group B encounter at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.
Robin, who was making his first appearance in domestic football in two years, scored in the 82nd minute with his first touch after coming in place of defender Pintu Kumar Das.
Set up by a long pass, the veteran marksman shrugged off Rezaul Karim and ran diagonal to place the ball to the left side of the net past advancing goalkeeper Ashraful Islam Rana.
“I have scored goals like that many times in domestic circuit, so I looked at the position of the goalkeeper before placing it,” said Robin, whose previous goal was for Sheikh Russel KC in a 2-1 win against BJMC in March, 2014.
“Though I signed up for Brothers Union last season, I could not play due to a knee injury and I am trying to come back again,” added Robin.
While Robin and the All Reds were celebrating the last-eight berth with a game in hand, big-budget Chittagong Abahani were left staring at early elimination after having collected one point from their two group matches. The Independence Cup champions will need a defeat for Sheikh Russel KC against Muktijoddha Sangsad to progress into the last eight.
The first move of the game provided indication of an upset as Chittagong Abahani goalkeeper Rana was forced to thwart a Kolo Musa header for a corner.
Bolstered by the return of five key players who had to sit out the Independence Cup, Chittagong Abahani had to make do without their influential winger Zahid Hossain, who is now attending his ailing father in India. The Port city outfit saw two chances squandered by Nasir Chowdhury and Rubel Mia after the resumption.
Muktijoddha's Musa almost broke the deadlock from a goal-mouth melee in the 75th minute, but his left-footed shot narrowly missed the target after taking a deflection off an Abahani defender.
Muktijoddha coach Abdul Kayum Sentu strengthened his attack by sending on Robin and the move immediately paid off as the veteran scored the decisive goal.
Chittagong Abahani found a lifeline when referee Mizanur Rahman awarded a penalty in the stoppage time following Simon Ezeodika's foul on Leonel Preux, but Tareq El Janabi's effort from the spot went wide.
Meanwhile, the day's second match in Group C saw Brothers Union beat Uttar Baridhara 1-0, thanks to a 31st minute penalty conversion by Nkowcha Kingsley. The win took Brothers Union to the quarterfinals while also confirming Sheikh Jamal's passage to the last eight and eliminating Uttar Baridhara.