Chittagong Abahani, Mohun Bagan and Young Elephants all concluded their Group A fixtures with the same number of points (six) from their respective three matches
Host Chittagong Abahani Limited reached the semi-final of the Sheikh Kamal International Club Cup as group champion despite losing to Mohun Bagan AC 1-0 in the final group stage match at MA Aziz Stadium in the port city Friday.
Chittagong Abahani, Bagan and Young Elephants all concluded their Group A fixtures with the same number of points (six) from their respective three matches.
Young Elephants of Laos exited the eight-club tournament due to goal difference, in spite of them beating TC Sports Club of Maldives 2-1 in the day’s first game at the same venue.
Maruful Haque gave rest to all national players except young defender Yeasin Arafat, including captain Jamal Bhuiyan, Arifur Rahman, Riyadul Hasan and Rahmat Mia, and brought in six new faces in the starting XI - Mohammad Rockey, Manik Hossain, Saker Ullah, Plane Petar, Kawsar Ali Rabbi and Mazharul Islam Hemel.
The home side looked a bit disorganized with a different playing XI and couldn’t create any notable chances in the opening half.
Terengganu FC and Sree Gokulam Kerala FC played out a goalless draw in their Group B match of the Sheikh Kamal International Club Cup at MA Aziz Stadium in the port city Thursday.https://t.co/AMPx7xWxFU#FOOTBALL #BANGLADESH #BANGLADESHFOOTBALL #BFF #TERENGGANU #GOKULAM #CLUBCUP— Dhaka Tribune Sports (@Sport_DT) October 24, 2019
They took better control of the game after midfielder Jamal and last two matches’ scorer Chinedu Mathew was introduced after conceding the goal.
Striker Suhair Vadakkepeedika netted the all-important goal at the hour mark, hitting the back of the net with a powerful volley after beating Serbian defender Plane Petar and receiving a long cross inside the box.
Goalkeeper Hemel took his chance after getting the nod in the starting XI for the first time in the meet as he made some fine saves, including the ones which denied Shuhair and Daneil Cyrus.
Maruful explained why he had to give rest to the key members of the squad.
“Our focus is on the knockout stages. The more I get fresh legs in the semi-final, the better it will be for us,” said Maruful.
Earlier, reigning champion TC Sports saw the exit door losing all their three matches.
Captain and forward Bounphachan Bounkong netted a brace, scoring on either side of each half, while Maldives defender Mohamed Samir reduced one later.
Meanwhile, the disciplinary committee of the Bangladesh Football Federation suspended Bashundhara Kings head coach Oscar Bruzon and Chennai City head coach Akbar Newas for one match each, and handed Chennai’s Japanese midfielder Yusa Katsumi a two-game ban.
All three received straight red cards during the last match between the two sides.
Ctg Abahani 0 1 Mohun Bagan (Suhair 60)
Young Elephants 2 (Bounphachan 18, 59) 1 TC Sports (Samir 78)