Arambagh Krira Sangha booked their place into the final of the Federation Cup after a long 15-year gap when they came from behind to beat Team BJMC 3-1 in the first semi-final in Dhaka on Thursday.
Forward Jakir Hossain Ziku put BJMC ahead in the first-half before Nigerian striker Kester Akon struck twice in the second-half for Arambagh and Jafar Iqbal netted the other in the dying seconds for the winners.
With the win, Arambagh brought back the memory of 2001 when they reached the final for the last time as the Motijheel outfits showed their great spirit under the guidance of national team coach Saiful Bari Titu.
Arambagh, who shocked Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club and Abahani
Limited on their way to the final, struggled to find the back of the net in the first-half.
Ziku put BJMC ahead in the 38th minute when he collected a low free-kick of Khan Mohammad Tara and sent the ball home from the middle of the box.
Arambagh pressed hard in the second half and that paid off in the 65th minute when Kester Akon levelled the margin from the penalty spot after Shankar Das brought substitute midfielder Aung Ching Marma down inside the box.
Arambagh took the lead for the first time after Kester scored his second one just four minutes later as the Nigerian dinked the ball over an advancing BJMC keeper Arifuzzaman Himel after a mazy run through the left flank.
BJMC’s Samuel Adams wasted a great opportunity to level the margin in the 75th minute when the Nigerian’s penalty hit the side post after defender Monsur Amin brought his compatriot Eleta Kingsley down inside the box.
Young forward Jafar Iqbal sealed the victory in the stoppage time by firing home from the left corner of the box.
In the second semifinal, Abahani Limited will take on Sheikh Russell Krira Chakra at 7.30pm today.
Arambagh KS 3 (Kester Akon 65, 69, Jafar Iqbal 90+) v Team BJMC 1 (Jakir Hossain 38)
-With New Age input