Russel's return or Kings' ascension? | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 20, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 04:31 AM, November 20, 2018

Russel's return or Kings' ascension?

Former champions Sheikh Russel KC will look to gain a spot in the Federation Cup final for the first time in five years when they take on the daunting debutants Bashundhara Kings in the second semifinal at the Bangabandhu National Stadium today.

The match will get underway at 5:00pm with private satellite television channel, Channel 9, telecasting live from the venue.

After their lone Federation Cup triumph in 2012, Sheikh Russel missed out on the final in the following four editions, being eliminated from either the quarterfinal or semifinal stage each time. The 2012 treble winners are now one hurdle away from reaching the elusive final, however, the big-spending Bashundhara Kings stand firmly in their way.

Sheikh Russel are confident about their chances to progress following three straight wins and having not conceded a single goal so far.

Therefore, Saiful Bari Titu's charges are upbeat, believing that they can topple the Kings, who conceded five goals in their last four matches due to a vulnerable defence. Titu believes that having the in-form striking pair of Nigerian Raphael Odoyin and Brazilian Alex Rafael makes the side very much capable of winning the match.

However, the fact remains that Bashundhara Kings are a tough team to beat, especially when you consider how they started their debut season, handing a massive 5-2 defeat to Mohammedan SC in their first match before imposing a 5-1 loss on Team BJMC in a quarterfinal encounter.

World cupper Daniel Colindres of Costa Rica is a key element in Bashundhara Kings' steady progression, scoring four goals including a hattrick. Their Spanish coach Oscar Bruzon will be hoping for another inspiring performance from Colindres, especially since he will be missing the services of his two important overseas players -- Marcos Vinicius of Brazil and Bakhtiyar Duyshobekov of Kyrgyzstan – due to injury and national duty respectively.

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