Federation Cup final today
Arambagh Krira Sangha will look forward to complete their giant killing mission and achieve their greatest glory in the domestic football when they take on the powerhouse Abahani Limited in the final of the Federation Cup today. The final encounter between two group rivals will kickoff at 3:30pm at the Bangabandhu National Stadium and state-owned BTV World will telecast the match live.
Arambagh, whose highest achievement so far is to play in the finals of 1997 and 2001 in this completion, lost to the same opponents and Muktijoddha Sangshad Krira Chakra by 1-2 and 0-3 respectively.
But for Abahani, which is one of the most successful clubs in the country, the situation is also desperate as they failed to win any silverware after winning the fifth edition Bangladesh Premier League title in 2012.
Both the sides met each other in the group stage and the surprise 1-0 victory of Arambagh will obviously give them a lot of extra boost that also will make their illustrious opponents eager to shed that humiliation and win the trophy.
Arambagh continued their amazing form to rule defending champions Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club out from the quarter-finals with a 5-4 margin in the tie-breaker.
The Motijheel-based outfits kept their dream run, as they made a brilliant came-from-behind 3-2 win over Team BJMC in the semi-final as well.
Abahani’s four-year trophy drought in the domestic league is unusual for their legacy and it is even more agonising for their tradition as they have failed to win the Federation Cup for six years since 2010.
After a losing start, Abahani improved their performances by every match and they staged their best performance so far to beat Sheikha Russell Krira Chakra 2-1 in the semi-final.
Abahani’s Austrian coach George Kottan claimed that his charges overcame the unstable position gradually.
‘We have been working very hard for three weeks long after the national team’s players returned back. Before the first game against Arambagh we were not prepared enough,’ said the veteran coach.
Kottan kept his faith on his charges saying that, ‘all the players told me, coach, we are ready to play. We have fire in our football boots and we will win tomorrow [today].’
Kottan will get some more options to choose his starting XI as their two regular campaigners, English forward Lee Andrew Tuck and stopper back Tapu Barman, recovered from their injuries.
Arambagh coach Saiful Bari Titu on the other hand was cautious about their prospects.
‘If you compare the players of both sides, Abahani must remain ahead of us,’ said the experienced coach.
‘To win a game you must defend yourself. What was important for us in the Federation Cup is that to fight until the end of the game. I think Abahani are the best team this season in terms of the quality of the players.
‘So we have to keep this in our heads while playing. My strategy will be according to the ability and quality of my players and play accordingly.’
Titu believed his charges will fight until the last whistle to make a history and with the smile of lady luck they may cherish their dream.
‘The win against Abahani came with the favour of luck and I believe to win we need the luck again.’
-With New Age input