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Kings rule BPL, clinch title on debut season

  • Published at 06:10 pm July 25th, 2019
Bashundhara
Bashundhara Kings' Daniel Colindres in action during their BPL match against Mohammedan in Nilphamari Thursday Dhaka Tribune

Mohammedan’s Malian forward Souleymane Diabate’s opening goal at the quarter-hour mark was cancelled out by Brazilian forward Marcos Vinicius in the late stage of the same half, which was enough for Bashundhara to confirm their top finish in the league as they needed only a point

Bashundhara Kings ensured their maiden title on their debut Bangladesh Premier League campaign, with a couple of games still in hand, and despite being held to a 1-1 draw by Mohammedan Sporting Club Limited at Sheikh Kamal Stadium in Nilphamari Thursday. 

Mohammedan’s Malian forward Souleymane Diabate’s opening goal at the quarter-hour mark was cancelled out by Brazilian forward Marcos Vinicius in the late stage of the same half, which was enough for Bashundhara to confirm their top finish in the league as they needed only a point.

Last time a professional club won the premier league title on their debut season was Lt. Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club Limited during the 2010-11 season but it was not in the same style as Bashundhara, who won 19 matches, drew two and lost only once out of 22 games so far, and sealed the title with two games in hand.

The celebration could have come earlier if Bashundhara had beaten Sheikh Russel Krira Chakra in Sylhet Saturday, but instead conceded their only defeat in the league this season.

Thursday's game was scheduled for Wednesday, but heavy rainfall and thunderstorm saw the game postponed after three minutes of play.

Bashundhara’s title celebration could have been delayed further with the draw if six-time premier league winner, Abahani Limited didn’t lose points against Chittagong Abahani  Limited Wednesday. 

Bashundhara now have 59 points from 22 matches, while second-placed Abahani have 55 points from 23 games.

With the equation of requiring only a draw to seal the title, Bashundhara fell behind in front of a half-packed gallery at their home venue when Diabate scored in on a rebound in the 14th minute after Toklis Ahmed’s initial shot, followed by a long run, was blocked by Bashundhara custodian Anisur Rahman Zico.

Bashundhara tried to take the composure after 20 minutes. 

Matin Mia, one of the two changes in Oscar Bruzon’s side along with Emon Mahmud, went close to grabbing the equalizer in the 21st minute but his shot from Daniel Colindres’ cross hit the sidebar.

Vinicius came to Bashundhara’s rescue as he brought parity in the 37th minute, heading home a corner from Costa Rican World Cupper forward Colindres. 

It was Marcos’ 12th goal in the league, which is the highest among his teammates so far.

The second half couldn’t produce much notable attacks as Bashundhara’s defence and midfield sat tight and solid, not allowing Mohammedan attackers to create chances. 

All they had to do is wait for the final whistle after which the fans and players went into wild celebrations.

Meanwhile, Bashundhara, having been formed in 2016, got promoted to the top-flight league after emerging as the champion in the second-tier Bangladesh Championship League last season.

They also won the Independence Cup title this season after finishing as the runners-up in the season opening Federation Cup.