Russel remained at the third spot despite the win but reduced the gap with Abahani to three points
Sheikh Russel registered their fifth successive victory to resume their Bangladesh Premier League campaign after handing Mohammedan Sporting Club a 4-2 defeat in an exciting 17th round tie at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.
Nigerian striker Raphael Odoyin netted a late brace in the second half to secure the win from 2-2 stalemate after Biplo Ahmed and Alison Udoka scored one each for Sheikh Russel and Toklis Ahmed scored a brace for Mohammedan. Russel also had won the first leg by 3-0 in February.
Biplo broke the deadlock ten minutes into the clock with a long-range grounder that sneaked through a crowded defence and entered home into the far post followed by rebound of a long throw-in.
Toklis equalized the margin at the quarter-hour mark heading home past the onrushing keeper Ashraful Islam Rana after collecting a long ball at the right side of the box.
Nigerian defender Alison put Russel ahead again four minutes later with a close-range tap-in after his initial efforts were denied by the keeper, side-post and a defender. Ukrainian forward Valeri Hrysher provided the cross.
Raphael got a great opportunity to extend the lead but the Nigerian failed to connect a Azizov Alisher low cross from close range at the half-hour mark.
Toklis restored the parity four minutes into the second half heading home from close range following a cross of Yusuf Sifat from the left flank.
Raphael finally got on the score sheet to take the lead again in the 75th minute as he chipped over the onrushing keeper Pappu Hossain from the right side of the box. Raphael sealed the victory in the 87th minute placing home calmly from middle of the box after being assisted by Khalekuzzaman Sabuj from the left side.
Russel remained at the third spot despite the win but reduced the gap with Abahani to three points. They now have earned 36 points from 15 matches while Mohammedan remained at tenth with 13 points from the same number of outings.
Arambagh beat Chittagong Abahani
Arambagh Krira Sangha resumed the premier league campaign with a narrow 1-0 win over Chittagong Abahani at the same venue.
Nigerian striker Chinedu Mathew’s second half winner was enough for Arambagh to bag their seventh win in the league and stay comfortably five points clear of Chittagong Abahani at the middle of the table.
The first half showed lack of attacking instincts from both the sides much like the first leg in February where Arambagh won the tie 2-0, and the half ended goalless with only one mentionable attack from each side.
In the seventh minute, Chittagong Abahani midfielder Monaem Khan Raju tried his luck from 25 yards that flew inches over the crossbar while in 17th minute, Chinedu Mathew shot straight to the keeper from a one-on-one position from the right side of the box.
Chittagong Abahani were unlucky twice early in the second half when Mufta Lawal saw his header from Raju’s corner hit the woodwork after Daniel Tagoe’s initial effort in Raju’s free-kick was blocked by Iqbaljon Normatovich for a corner.
Mathew finally gave Arambagh the breakthrough in the 63rd minute with a neat placing shot from the top of the box after the Nigerian striker outpaced Lawal from outside the box to collect Arifur Rahman’s headed pass inside.
Chittagong Abahani went close to the equalizer three minutes before the stipulated time when Rashedul Islam Shuvo fired over the bar from the middle of the box collecting Nkwocha Kingsley’s headed pass.
Chittagong Abahani 0-1 Arambagh
Mohammedan 2-4 Sheikh Russel