Cumilla confirm top-four spot
The top-four teams lined up for the Qualifiers of the Hockey Champions Trophy today as Rupayan City Cumilla became the fourth and final team to move into the qualifying positions with a hard-fought 6-4 win over Walton Dhaka in the penultimate match at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium.
A fifth win in nine matches pushed Cumilla to second position in the table with 16 points, three less than league-leaders Acme Chittagong, while Metro Express Barishal and Monarch Padma placed third and fourth respectively, each with 15 points.
Saif Power Group Khulna and Walton Dhaka missed out on qualifying as they stayed made up the bottom two places with nine and six points respectively.
On Friday's game, Cumilla, whose qualification hopes took a hit after losing the previous match, faced a tough challenge from Walton Dhaka as they came back three times to level the score before conceding two successive goals in the dying minutes to lose the match.
Sohanur Rahman Sabuj converted a penalty to give Rupayan the lead in the fourth minute before Pushkor Khisa Mimo doubled the advantage in the 10th minute from open play.
However, Walton Dhaka hit back strongly to level the score with two strikes from Samin and Ashraful Islam in the 17th and 23rd minute before Cumilla managed to restore the lead, courtesy of a penalty corner from Kim Sung Yeob four minutes into the second half.
But a minute later, Dhaka yet again equalised with a field goal from Rakibul Hasan Roki but Kim Sung was at it again as he gave Cumilla the lead by converting a penalty stroke in the 38th minute.
There was still however some late drama left in the contest as Dhaka's Ashraful Islam converted a penalty corner in the 48th minute to even the score at 4-4. But Dhaka in the end could not stop Cumilla from scoring twice from penalty corners in the 52nd and 59th minutes. Sabuj and Mimo took the initiative to cement Cumilla a spot in the top four.