With Thursday's win, which was their sixth in a row, Abahani Limited reduced the gap to only one point with table leader Bashundhara Kings, although the former have played two games more
Reigning champion Abahani Limited exacted revenge for their first-leg defeat as goalkeeper Shahidul Alam Sohel’s heroic display in the opening half saw them edge past Sheikh Russel Krira Chakra 1-0 in the Bangladesh Premier League at a muddy Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka Thursday.
With Thursday's win, which was their sixth in a row, Abahani reduced the gap to only one point with table leader Bashundhara Kings, although the former have played two games more.
The Sky Blues earned 51 points from 20 matches while Sheikh Russel remained third with 39 points from 19 games.
Sheikh Russel beat Abahani 2-0 in the first phase.
It was Sheikh Russel who created pressure on the opponent’s defence early in the game but Abahani custodian Sohel’s brilliant display in between the posts kept them at bay.
Abahani registered their fifth consecutive victory in the Bangladesh Premier League after handing Brothers Union a 5-3 defeat in an entertaining encounter at Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka Mondayhttps://t.co/5MON8c6uE5 …#ABAHANI #BROTHERS #BPL #BFF #FOOTBALL #BANGLADESH— Dhaka Tribune Sports (@Sport_DT) July 9, 2019
Sohel made a diving save in the third minute to deny Ukrainian forward Valerii Hrysher’s powerful left-footer from long range before punching away Nigerian striker Raphael Onwrebe’s dangerous header for a corner in the 10th minute.
Abahani had their first opportunity at the half-hour mark when Rubel Mia fed the ball onto the way of Jewel Rana, whose last-ditch slider went wide off the far post.
Sohel produced another superb save four minutes later, tipping away Raphael’s volley from the top of the box.
The Sky Blues had a couple of close attempts in the added time of injury time.
Nabib Newaj Jibon’s shot from inside the box was blocked before Masih Saighani’s header moments later flew over the bar.
Since moving to Germany in 1989 Masih Saighani said the migration helped him and his family to secure a new life with a different mentality and culture with football playing an instrumental role in helping him to adapt faster to his new surroundingshttps://t.co/LZhzke9hzz#MASIH— Dhaka Tribune Sports (@Sport_DT) July 9, 2019
Jibon finally broke the deadlock in the 59th minute with a brilliant solo effort.
Collecting a pass from Rayhan Hasan, the national striker broke into the right side of the penalty area, fooled around Nigerian defender Alison Udoka before slotting home into the near post.
It was Jibon’s 13th goal in the league this season.
Sheikh Russel responded immediately two minutes later but veteran defender Waly Faisal made a timely block to push away Uzbek forward Alisher Azizov’s effort from a good position.
Abahani defence remained solid for the rest of the game to keep the scoreline intact.
Abahani 1 (Jibon 59) 0 Sk Russel