Hosts Chittagong Abahani kept their semi-final hopes alive in the Sheikh Kamal International Club Cup owing to their 1-0 win over Dhaka Abahani at the MA Aziz Stadium on Thursday.
Winger Zahid Hossain struck the decisive goal in the 47th minute to give the home side their first win in the tournament after they lost their opening match to East Bengal by a solitary margin.
Indian champions East Bengal confirmed their semi-final berth with a comfortable 3-1 over Pakistan champions Karachi Electric Club in the day’s first match at the same venue.
The defeat jeopardised Dhaka Abahani’s chance of advancing to the semi-finals as they now must beat East Bengal in their last match and hope the result of the other game also comes in their favour.
With back-to-back wins, the Kolkata giants East Bengal are now leading Group-B with six points from two matches while Dhaka Abahani and Chittagong Abahani both are level with three points.
Karachi Electric Club are yet to open their account.
East Bengal took control of the first match over their Pakistani rivals from the first minute of the match and took a comfortable 3-0 lead within 50 minutes.
TheI-League champions opened their account in the 15th minute through their Nigerian midfielder Orok Essien.
Abhinash Ruidas provided a low cross for Essien from the right-flank and the Nigerian made no mistake to beat Pakistani goalkeeper Ghulam Nabi with a diving header from six-yard box.
Two minutes later, Karachi Electric came close to level the margin but a poor shot from Muhammad Raiz could not trouble East Bengal goalkeeper Dibyendu Sarkar.
Mohammad Rafique doubled the lead for the Indians with a powerful drive in the 25th minute after a cut-back from Essien.
Both Electric and East Bengal came close to strike on the half-hour-mark but Dibyendu denied Mohammad Essa while Nigerian Ranti Martin rattled the crossbar of Electric.
Electric got off to a fine start in the second half and pulled a goal back in the 49th minute through Riaz only for his attempt to be cancelled out for off-side.
East Bengla put the decisive blow by scoring the third goal in the 50th minute.
Midfielder Subodh Kumar provided a long ball for Essien, who darted into the box to square it to Ranti and the Nigerian striker tapped in to make it 3-0.
Muhammad Rasool struck the consolation goal in the 84th minute from a close range for the Pakistani champions.
-With New Age input