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
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
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
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.