A brace from Monaem Khan Raju gave holders Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club a 2-0 win over Arambagh KS in their Grameenphone Bangladesh Premier League encounter at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur yesterday.
Raju struck in each half to guide his side to their sixth win and third in a row which took them to fifth position with 21 points from 15 outings. Arambagh KS lie second from bottom with 10 points.
The day’s lone match was shifted to the Kamalapur Stadium due to the Junior Athletics Championship but the pitch was not good enough for players to put on a natural show. However, Arambagh gave their opponents a run for the money and were unlucky not to snatch at least a point as they dominated the show from the outset.
Sheikh Jamal launched three major attacks in the whole game and converted two of them. They scored the first goal in the ninth minute when Nigerian striker Chukwuemeka J Afusi whipped a cross from the left for midfielder Raju, who rose high to head it home.
Afterwards, Arambagh pressed hard for an equaliser with striking duo Liberian Benjamin Cooper and Nigerian Eleta Kingsley penetrating the Sheikh Jamal backline and came close to levelling the margin on 31st minute but Sheikh Jamal goalkeeper Aminul Haque thwarted Kingsley’s effort.
On 56th minute, Cooper failed to connect a Kingsley header from handshaking distance while the same striker failed to beat Aminul from close range seven minutes later.
Sheikh Jamal sent on young striker Sohel Rana and winger Abdul Baten Komol to strengthen the attack and it paid off.
Nigerian striker Kester Akon ran down the right flank to put a low-cross for Sohel but the former Farashganj striker failed to connect from close range but he immediately made amends to turn provider for the second goal.
From a counter-attack, Kester played on Komol on the top of the box and the winger cut it back for Sohel, who instead of taking a shot on target, back-heeled it for unmarked Raju, who dodged past goalkeeper Biplob Kumar Bishnu to tap in to the near post in the stoppage time.
“I am not happy with the performance as my team could not keep the tempo from the previous two matches,” said Sheikh Jamal coach Abu Yousuf.
“We are putting consistent performances yet we can’t win matches,” said a frustrated Arambagh KS coach Zahidul Islam Milon.
-With The Daily Star input