Abahani, Mohammedan make winning starts: Defending champions Mohammedan Sporting Club began their Federation Cup campaign with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Chittagong Abahani, while runners-up Abahani got off to a flying start with a massive 6-0 victory over Brothers Union on Tuesday.
Abahani, Mohammedan make winning starts: Having struggled against Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club to notch up their first win in three matches of Bangladesh Premier League on Friday, the Sky Blues dominated over promoted Brothers throughout the Cup encounter, especially in the second half as four goals popped up in the span of 15. minutes at Bashundhara Kings Arena.
Forward Nabib Newaj Jibon initially set the tone of the match with a brilliant placing shot inside the box after controlling a chip from Brazilian forward Washington Brendon, who went on to complete the season’s first hattrick.
Washington was lucky to get his first goal, tapping the ball in home with his knee, after Iranian defender Milad Soleimani Sheikh headed down a Jonathan Fernandes corner on the half-hour mark.
The Brazilian forward made it 3-0 with a brilliant near-post strike in 71st minute before completing his hat-trick two minutes later with a tap-in following a goal-mouth melee after Robiul Hasan’s left-footed strike created havoc inside the box.
Cornelius Stewart then struck two eye-catching goals in the 83rd and 86th minute to complete the rout against Brothers, who suffered a massive 5-1 defeat to Mohammedan in the league match on Friday.
In Gopalganj, Mohammedan faced stiff challenge from Chittagong Abahani who took a lead in the 14th minute with a free header from Nigerian Azeez Abolaji Abu.Mohammedan starting lineup in their Federation Cup fixture against Chittagong Abahani in Gopalganj on January 16, 2023. Photo: BFF
Mohammedan then bounced back to equalize in the stoppage-time of the first half, with Jafar Iqbal firing from close range after a Mozaffarov free-kick rebounded from hitting the near post.
After resumption, Mozaffarov struck the winner outside the box after a clearance from goalkeeper Ashraful Islam Rana came his way in the 55th minute. In the stoppage time, Chittagong Abahani got a nice opportunity to level the margin but substitute Hemanta Vincent Biswas was off-target as the chance to equalize went begging.