Holders Bashundhara Kings continued their brilliant run in the Bangladesh Premier League with a 4-1 thrashing of Mohammedan while title contenders Abahani dropped points again with a 1-1 draw against their Chattogram namesake yesterday.
Argentine marksman Raul Becerra, who went through a drought in the league following his five goals in Kings' Federation Cup success, scored a brace to help the defending champions to their fifth victory in five matches at the Shaheed Dhirendranath Datta Stadium in Cumilla.
Brazilian duo of Robson Da Silva and Jonathan Fernandes also got on the scoresheet as Kings consolidated their lead with 15 points, four ahead of third-placed Abahani while Mohammedan slipped to eighth position with five points from as many matches.
Mohammedan had put on a fighting display against archrivals Abahani in a 2-2 draw at this venue in their previous match, but the Black and Whites simply failed to match the quality of Bashundara Kings, who took only eight minutes to take the lead.
Becerra played a nice one-two with Fernandes before heading the ball home from inside the box but Mohammedan staged a short-yet-strong comeback to level the margin in the 22nd minute when Abiola Nurat slotted home a feeble clearance from Kings goalkeeper Anisur Rahman Zico.
Mohammedan's Malian striker Souleymane Diabate rattled the crossbar with a free-kick in the 44th minute before Kings restored their lead with in a superb move right in the next minute. Robinho ran down the left side to enter the box before chipping the ball cleverly with his left foot over advancing Mohammedan goalkeeper Ahsan Habib Bipu.
Kings emerged from the break in a more destructive mood and added two more goals, with Fernandes widening the margin in the 50th minute before Becerra wrapping up the victory with his second goal from the spot in the 80th minute.
Abahani drop more points
Six-time champions Abahani surrendered their lead again as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Chittagong Abahani at the Bangabandhu National Stadium.
Francisco Rodrigues gave Abahani the lead from a spot-kick in the 31st minute but Chittagong Abahani's Nixon Guylherme scored the equaliser, this one too from the spot, in the stoppage time of the first half.
Abahani coach Mario Lemos sent unfit Brazilian midfielder Raphael Augusto in an effort to restoring their lead in the second half, but to no avail. Instead the Sky Blues were lucky to leave the field with a point after goalkeeper Shahidul Alam Sohel saved a spot-kick -- the third one awarded in the match by referee Mizanur Rahman -- three minutes before the final whistle.
Sheikh Russel ride on own goal
A second-half stoppage-time own goal from Shoeb Mia helped Sheikh Russel edge Muktijoddha Sangsad 1-0 at the BNS later in the day.
With the clock ticking down, Obi Moneke ran down the left to release a powerful low cross for Bakhtyiar Duishobekov but the Kyrgyz defender's marker Shoeb put the ball into his own net, helping Sheikh Russel to the second position in the league with 13 points.