Sunday, April 14, 2024

MSC end on a high

Dhaka Mohammedan SC achieved a rare feat of finishing unbeaten runners-up in the Bangladesh League when they registered their maiden victory over arch-rivals Dhaka Abahani beating the champions 2-1 at the Bangabandhu National Stadium on Wednesday.
Ace forward Emily and attacking midfielder Mamunul Islam scored one goal apiece for the traditional black and white outfit to break Abahani’s 23-match unbeaten run in the professional football league. Ghanaian forward Awudu Ibrahim netted the lone goal for the champions.
Abahani, who secured their hat-trick title before the match, had a plan to celebrate their title with an unbeaten tag but a spirited Mohammedan outplayed them. Mohammedan goalkeeper Aminul saved his team from conceding two goals and Nigerian forward Bukola played the match of the season to pull off the most important victory of the league. In the three editions of the Bangladesh League, Mohammedan have never beaten their arch-rivals, losing two and drawing the remaining three.
Abahani players lacked ideal motivation to put in the best after a long gruelling season. On the other hand, Mohammedan appeared to be spirited side to prove their abilities.
Bukola got the first scoring chance in the 29th minute when winger Shakil set him free but the Nigerian placed the ball straight into the lap of Abahani keeper Biplob. However, six minutes later Bukola helped Emily break the deadlock. Shrugging off the challenge of Sujon in the left flank Bukola pushed the ball to Emily who neatly placed it into the far post from the six-yard box.
However, Awudu hauled Abahani back in the game with a spectacular strike three minutes before the interval. Running on to a Zahed Parvez through pass the wily forward hit the roof of the net with a fierce diagonal 20-yarder that stunned Aminul and also the defence line who were expecting him to rush into the box.
However, Aminul was in his brilliant best in the 56th minute saving an Enamul toe-poke from close range and then dived into the feet Sherriff Deen Mohammed in a one-on-one situation to collect the ball in the 63rd minute and before repeating the act in the 72nd minute to foil Sherriff’s placed effort.
Abahani ran out of steam in the dying minutes and Mohammedan took the opportunity. Midfielder Zahid Hossain’s cracker from the top of the box went inches over the crossbar in the 73rd minute but two minutes later Mohammedan were celebrating the lead.
A combined move saw substitute forward Nasiruddin free in the middle of the box and he paved the way for onrushing Mamunul who beat Biplob with a fierce left-footer from the middle of the box.
Abahani finished their campaign on 67 points while Mohammedan completed their mission with 62 points.

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