Ctg Abahani atop

Ctg Abahani atop

The first phase of JB Bangladesh Premier League ended yesterday with a mixed bag as teams such as lightweights Rahmatganj have been in contention for the prestigious title while traditional heavyweights like Sheikh Russel and Mohammedan have been struggling in the top flight.

Rahmatganj’s rise is a surprise to all as the Old Dhaka outfit outshone heavyweights through spirited performances from unheralded players and, at the same time, the fall of big-spending Sheikh Russel also dominated discussions due to the below-par performances of their recognised players.

However, at the end of the first phase the title race is basically confined to three teams -- Chittagong Abahani and Rahmatganj -- who are almost neck-and-neck, with Chittagong Abahani holding onto a nervy two point lead over third-placed Rahmatganj.

Apart Sheikh Russel's underwhelming performances, the struggles of falling giants Mohammedan could also be termed unacceptable, with the Black and Whites playing their last two matches without head coach Kazi Joshimuddin Ahmmed Joshy. They are currently languishing in 10th position with one win from 11 outings.

The league was held at three separated venues apart from Dhaka in a bid to attract spectators but the professional league could hardly draw their attention. While there were a moderate number of spectators in Chittagong and Mymensigh, the turnouts in Sylhet and Dhaka were disappointing.

Across a total of 66 matches in 88 days, a total of 184 goals were struck at an average of 2.79 goals per game.

As usual, foreign strikers dominated the goalscoring charts, with Nigerian hitman Sunday Chizoba leading the way with 10 goals followed by Haitian Wedson Anselme (9) and Nigerian Nkowcha Kingsley (9). However, there is a bit of relief in the fact that local booters have collectively scored more goals (95) than foreign players (88).

In yesterday's first match, Muktijoddha Sangsad returned to winning ways with a 2-0 victory over Feni, who extended their losing streak to four. Sohel Rana put Muktijoddha ahead from the spot in the 83rd minute, before Nigerian Simon Ezeodika wrapped up their fifth victory in stoppage time.

In the day’s second game, Team BJMC and Arambagh played out a 1-1 draw.

Source: The Daily Star