Title aspirants Sheikh Russell Krira Chakra suffered their second successive defeat of the Bangladesh Premier League on Thursday as they were shocked by Rahmatganj Muslim Friends Society by 2-0 at the MA Aziz Stadium in Chittagong on Thursday. Still smarting from their 0-1 defeat to newcomers Uttar Baridhara in their opening match, Russell dominated to Old Dhaka outfit in both halves but lacked the cutting edge that could earn them their first point in the league.
Second half goals from Mahbub Hasan Noyon and Mohammad Alauddin sank Russell and put Rahmatganj, who held Mohammedan Sporting Club to a 1-1 draw in their opening match, at top place in the points table.
Injuries to some key players like Ethiopian forward Fikru Taferra, national striker Shakhwat Hossain Rony and veteran stirker Zahid Hasan Ameli took a toll on Russell but coach Maruful Haque insisted still they had enough firepower to overcome Rahmatganj.
Maruf blamed his wasteful strikers for the defeat and praised unfencid Rahmatganj for utilising the scoring chances that they had throughout the game.
‘It was painful to see our strikers miss so many chances,’ said Maruf. ‘They [Rahmatganj] had just two half-chances and they used both.
Russell wasted the first real chance in the 18th minute when Mintu Sheikh sent the ball over the crosspiece after Haitian Paul Emile provided him with a short pass in the middle of the box.
Alamgir Kabir Rana squandered a great chance at the half hour mark when his placing shot, following a cut back of Emile, went just wide.
Rahmatganj keeper Samiul Islam produced a brilliant save to deny substitute forward Rummon Hossain’s effort in the second minute into the second half.
Rahmatganj took the lead against the run of play in the 76th minute when Mahbub Hasan Nayon side volleyed home following a low cross of Nigerian forward Siyo Zunapiyo from the right flank.
Mohammad Alauddin, upon receiving the ball from a headed clearance of Monayem Khan Raju on a Faisal Ahmed corner, doubled the lead to seal the victory in the 88th minute with a powerful strike.
The defender unleashed a volley from just outside the box that left Russell keeper Russell Mahmud Liton with little chance.
In the second match of the day, reigning champions Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club thrashed Uttar Baridhara by 5-3 goals to secure their first win in the league.
Veteran forward Enamul Haque gave Jamal a 19th minute lead before Baridhara levelled the margin with an own goal from Jamal defender Ashraful Karim in the 24th minute.
Landing restored the lead three minutes later and Rakib Sarker made it 3-1 moments later.
Mohammad Sihab netted the fourth goal for Jamal in the 50th minute before Sentu Chandra reduced the margin in the 65th minute.
Enamul found his second of the game in the 75th minute to seal contest before Monir Alam netted the third goal for Baridhara five minutes later.
Rahamatganj MFS 2 (Mahbub Hasan Noyon 76, Mohammad Alauddin 88) v Sheikh Russell KC 0
Sk Jamal DC 5 (Enamul 19, 75, Landing 27, Rakib 28, Sihab 51) v Uttar Baridhara 3 (Ashraful Karim 24-OG, Sentu Chandra 65, Monir Alam 80)
-With New Age input