Sunday denies Rahmatganj

Sunday denies Rahmatganj

Sunday Chizoba scored two superlative goals as Abahani ended Rahmatganj's unbeaten run in the JB Bangladesh Premier League with a 2-0 win at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

The Nigerian marksman scored with a clever dink three minutes after restart before wrapping up the victory with an audacious lob from the centre-circle deep into injury time as the four-time champions grabbed the second spot, with 23 points from 11 games, while Rahmatganj ended the first leg in third position with 22 points.

Both teams came into this match with an unbeaten record, Rahmatganj leading the Dhanmondi giants by two points. But having overcome the Brothers Union hurdle with a depleted side in the previous match, the Old Dhaka outfit failed to do the same yesterday despite fielding a full-strength side in front of their growing number of supporters at the galley.

It was, however, Rahmatganj who initiated the first attack and shook Abahani up, with Jatta Mustafa forcing Shahidul Alam Sohel into a fine save with a dipping free-kick. But the rest of the half turned out to be an attacking display from Abahani, who were denied a number of times by Rahmatganj goalkeeper Samiul Islam Masum.

Sunday broke the deadlock on 48 minutes with an exquisite chip over Masum after being fed through by Jewel Rana. The goal made Rahmatganj go all-out as coach Kamal Baby sent three pairs of fresh legs, but they failed to break Abahani defence. And it was Abahani, who struck on a counter-attack deep into stoppage time as Sunday brought up his tenth goal of the campaign in spectacular fashion.

After defender Samad Yussif cleared the ball inside the Abahani danger zone, Sunday collected it and took a few steps past the centre-circle before looking up to see Masum way outside his box. The Nigerian sent a speculative lob which ended up at the back of the net, with Masum reacting late and eventually misjudging the flight of the ball.

Seven minutes into the added time, Rahmatganj captain Shawkat Russel and Abahani goalkeeper Sohel got marching orders for altercating with referee Jalal Uddin, but that didn't have an impact on the scoreline.

Later in the day, Chittagong Abahani moved to the top of the table with 1-0 win against Brothers Union, thanks to a 23rd minute free-kick from skipper Mamunul Islam which evaded everyone and left Brothers Union goalkeeper flatfooted.

The port city side, who had come into this match on the back of three successive wins, ended the leg with 24 points, one ahead of second-placed Dhaka Abahani while Brothers Union remained in seventh position with 14 points.

Source: The Daily Star