• Wednesday, Nov 20, 2019
  • Last Update : 10:33 pm

Ctg Abahani off to flying start

  • Published at 11:18 pm October 19th, 2019
Club Cup
Chittagong Abahani's Luka Rotkovic shoots at goal during their Club Cup match against TC Sports in Chittagong Saturday Dhaka Tribune/Md Manik

Nigerian forward Chinedu Mathew scored a brace and youngster Yeasin Arafat netted one in the opening half while Montenegrin striker Luka Rotkovic added another in the second half as the home side salvaged all three points quite comfortably to top Group A

Host Chittagong Abahani Limited made a flying start in the Sheikh Kamal International Club Cup as they handed the reigning champion TC Sports Club of Maldives a thrashing 4-1 defeat in the inaugural game at MA Aziz Stadium in the port city Saturday.

Nigerian forward Chinedu Mathew scored a brace and youngster Yeasin Arafat netted one in the opening half while Montenegrin striker Luka Rotkovic added another in the second half as the home side salvaged all three points quite comfortably to top Group A.

Chittagong Abahani, the champion of the tournament in the first edition in 2015, is guided by head coach Maruful Haque, who fielded the starting XI with majority of the players on loan, including five national players from Saif Sporting Club – Jamal Bhuiyan, Rahmat Mia, Riyadul Hasan Rafi, Arifur Rahman and Yeasin.

Four foreign recruits including two from Maruful’s previous club Arambagh Krira Sangha – Mathew and Uzbekistan defender Ikbal Jon – and two new faces Ivorian midfielder Jean Charles Didier and Rotkovic started while no foreign recruit started the game for the visiting side.

Rotkovic was deployed as lone striker with Mathew and Arifur on the wings, and the host looked threatening from the beginning.

The Sky Blues from the port city could have opened the scoring in just the fourth minute when Arifur’s effort flew inches over the bar.

Mathew broke the deadlock with only eight minutes into the clock firing home from inside the box following a cutback by Arifur from the left side. 

The 16-year old defender Yeasin doubled the lead two minutes later with a brilliant shot from outside the box.

The visiting side were rarely given any space while the host, whose midfield was led by Jamal, continued to penetrate the Maldives defence.

Mathew netted his second to extend the lead in the 40th minute placing home from close range following a cutback by Sohel. 

Rotkovic scored an opportunist goal to make it 4-0 in the 70th minute when Maldives goalkeeper Ibrahim Adam grassed a cross before the Montenegrin striker punished him with an easy finish.

The visiting side managed to pull one back three minutes before the end of stipulated time when forward Ismail Easa headed home a cross from Mohamed Samir from the left flank.

TC Sports coach Afiu Hamid and captain Ahmed Farrah blamed tiredness due to hectic journey and a lack of time to adjust before the game for the big defeat, but pledged to come back stronger in the next game.

Maruful, who got his national players only three days ago, was not also fully satisfied with his side’s performance and hoped for a better display once all the players blend well with each other. 

Jamal was adjudged player of the match.

RESULT

Ctg Abahani 4 (Mathew 8, 40, Yeasin 10, Rotkovic 70) 1 TC Sports (Easa 87)