Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com
Malian forward Souleymane Diabate scored four goals as Mohammedan Sporting Club edged arch-rivals Abahani Limited in an eight goal thriller in the final to win the Federation Cup after 14 years at the Shaheed Direndranath Datta Stadium in Cumilla on Tuesday.
The popular black and white outfit clinched the title 4-2 in tie-breaker after the stipulated extra time ended in 4-4. It was Mohammedan’s 11th title in the tournament since 1980.
The last time Mohammedan won the title was back in 2009, when they beat the same side also on penalties. This was also Mohammedan’s first trophy since their Independence Cup triumph in 2014.
In a final full of twists and turns, Mohammedan had the last laugh thanks to their substitute goalkeeper Ahsan Habib Bipu, who saved two penalties in the tie-breaker after Diabate’s four goals brought them into the game on a number of occasions.
Diabate, who scored in the 56th, 61st, 83rd, and 107th minutes, became the only hat-trick maker in the final of the competition’s history.
With his four goals in the final, Diabete finished the competition as the top scorer with eight goals and was later adjudged as the player of the final as well as the player of the tournament.
‘Team spirit was the main thing behind our success. We all love our club. We all gave our best to make the club champions… I don’t know, whether I made records or not. I am satisfied that I could make my club champions,’ Mohammedan’s captain Diabate told the reporters after the final.
Abahani were 2-0 up in the first half, with midfielder Foysal Ahmed Fahim scoring in the 17th minute before Costa Rican forward Daniel Colindres doubled the margin in the 43rd minute.
But Mohammedan fought back early in the second half to make it 2-2 in the 60th minute before Abahani went ahead once again in the 66th minute with a strike from their Nigerian forward Emeka Ogbugh.
But Mohammedan made it 3-3 at the end of regular time, with Diabete completing his hat-trick.
Mohammedan took the lead once in extra time through a penalty, only for Abahani to make it 4-4 in the dying minutes thanks to a stunning strike from Rahamat Mia in the 118th minute.
Bipu came on as a substitute in the 115th minute after Mohammedan’s regular goalkeeper Sujon Hossain got injured trying to save a volley in the 111th minute. Bipu saved penalties from Abahani’s Brazilian skipper Raphael Augusto and Colindres.
Nigerian forward Emeka Ogbugh and Syrian defender Yousef Mohammad converted their spot kicks for Abahani.
Mohammedan midfielder Shahriar Emon was the only player to miss a penalty for his side, while Diabate, midfielder Alamgir Kabir Rana, Brazilian defender Roger Duarte, midfielder Shahriar Emon, and defender Kamrul Islam successfully converted their shots.
The 12-time champions Abahani, who won four Federation Cup titles in the previous six seasons, finished a season empty handed for the second time since the emergence of Bashundhara Kings in 2018-19.
Kings won this season’s other two domestic competitions, the Independence Cup and Bangladesh Premier League.