Six-time champions Abahani extended their unbeaten run against Brothers Union in the league to seven years when the Sky Blues handed an empathic 5-3 defeat to the relegation-threatened All Oranges in a Bangladesh Premier League encounter at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.
Following a 2-2 draw in their previous match against Bangladesh Police, which came shortly after they were ruled to be ineligible for the AFC Cup, Abahani sought some solace in routing Brothers Union, once powerhouses in domestic football. Abahani last lost to the Gopibagh-based outfit in 2014 and have since played out three draws while winning the other seven of their 10 league encounters.
The Sky Blues are now third in the 13-team table with 29 points.
Brothers, who are desperate to get out of the drop zone, held a tight line for the first 20 minutes before twice falling prey to long throw-ins as they usually do. Raihan Hasan literally had a hand in the first two goals, with Sunday and Nasir Chowdhury heading home in the 22nd and 39th minutes respectively.
Brazil's Raphael Augusta almost struck in the 42nd minute with a powerful drive, only to be denied by keeper Jafar Sardar. However, he failed to thwart Jewel Rana two minutes later, the winger tapping home after a feeble clearance from Jafar broke his way.
Sunday hit the far post three minutes into the second half before Belfort availed a through-ball from Sunday and darted into the box before placing the ball to Jafar's left in the 63rd minute
Substitute Rubel Mia struck the fifth for Abahani in 79th minute, sandwiched between a brace from Nigeria's Awala Malagan, who struck in the 78th and 90th minutes to reduce the margin for Brothers Union, who are second from bottom with five points from 14 matches.
In the day's second match, Bashundhara Kings toiled hard under floodlights to manage a 2-0 win over spirited Bangladesh Police.
Although Kings had demolished Uttar Baridara Club 6-0 in their previous match, they faced a stiff challenge from Bangladesh Police, who held the league leaders for 58 minutes before Towhidul Alam Sabuj gave Kings a lead after BPL top-scorer Robson Da Silva squandered a penalty in the 16th minute.
Despite conceding, Packeer Ali's charges showed unbreakable character and fought on even footing but the Sri Lankan coach was left lamenting a lack of cutting edge up front in the absence of Argentinian striker Raul Becerra.
Captain and centre back Tapu Barman made the result safe after glancing home a header from a Jonathon Fernandes corner in the 62nd minute to help the leaders raise their tally to 40 points from 14 outings, 11 more than Sheikh Jamal DC and Abahani.