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Five-star Abahani run riot against Arambagh

  • Published at 08:52 pm December 26th, 2019
Abahani
Abahani players celebrate in Dhaka Dhaka Tribune/Md Manik

In-form Sunday Chizoba scored early before the Sky Blues came back with more attacking instincts after the break as Nabib Newaj Jibon, Nasir Uddin Chowdhury, Mamumul Islam and substitute Faisal Ahmed Shitol netted one apiece to complete the rout

Five-star Abahani Limited tested their squad depth while handing a struggling Arambagh Krira Sangha side a 5-1 hammering to sweep into the Federation Cup quarter-finals along with Police Football Club, leaving Mario Lemos in a sweet conundrum to pick his next XI in the knockout stage.

In-form Sunday Chizoba scored early before the Sky Blues came back with more attacking instincts after the break as Nabib Newaj Jibon, Nasir Uddin Chowdhury, Mamumul Islam and substitute Faisal Ahmed Shitol netted one apiece to complete the rout.

Raihan Hasan, Mohammad Sohel Rana and Sohel Rana were available for selection following stay order against the imposed injunction by a High Court bench, but Lemos made four changes, leaving the latter out of the starting XI.

Mamunul replaced Sohel in midfield to slot alongside Md Sohel, Jewel Rana started on the wing and Allaeldin Eissa was named at the heart of defence. 

Arambagh after a four-day gap between games also made four changes, but couldn’t better their fortunes after the 3-1 defeat against Police.

"It was the chance to see for options that we have this year in the reserve bench and it was good. The quarter-finals will be much tougher but it's also going to be difficult to choose the starting XI after this performance," an elated Lemos said.

Abahani also thrashed Police 4-0 in the first match but yesterday they looked more in control, creating plenty of chances. 

"Police were a different team than Arambagh, who are struggling. But a win is always satisfying," added Abahani’s Portuguese coach.

Sunday, Belfort and Jewel started punishing the shaky Arambagh defence from the very beginning as the former broke the deadlock in the ninth minute, firing home a Jewel cut-back. 

Nigerian marksman Sunday delivered a fine cross at the goal-mouth for Jewel, who failed to connect.  

Arambagh were in the receiving end on most occasions except in the 18th minute when Imran Hasan Rubel mishit a good chance after Egyptian Mostafa Mahmoud set him up.

The reigning champion piled more pressure after resumption as Jibon doubled the lead after seven minutes following a back-heel pass by Belfort allowed Raihan to put a precise cross in the middle.

It was Raihan’s long throw-in that led to the third goal as unmarked veteran defender Nasir headed home from six yards. 

Mamunul’s powerful left-footer after Sunday’s pass and Jibon’s fine run into the danger extended the lead.

Shitol, who came off the bench in Sunday’s place, also punished the poor defence with an untroubled header from another substitute winger Rubel Mia’s cross. 

Shitol was denied a brace by Cameroonian defender Yonta Michael’s goal-line clearance.

Murad Hossain scored a consolation for Arambagh after a defensive mix-up five minutes before the end of stipulated time as the Motijheel outfit finished the campaign conceding eight goals in two defeats. 

Last year, they reached the last-eight where they conceded a 3-2 defeat against the same opponent.

Abahani will face the Group C runners-up in the first quarter-final Monday at the same venue. 

Lt. Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club Limited and Saif Sporting Club face each other to decide the final standing of Group C Friday.

Starting XI

Abahani: Shahidul Alam; Raihan Hasan, Allaeldin Eissa, Nasir Uddin, Saad Uddin; Mohammad Sohel Rana, Mamunul Islam,  Nabib Newaj Jibon; Kervens Belfort, Jewel Rana, Sunday Chizoba.

Arambagh: Rakibul Islam Shaon; Yonta Michael, Didarul Hoque, Zahidul Islam Babu, Mohammad Rasel; Krishna Kumar Mali, Imran Hossain Rubel, Arafat Mia, Abdul Baten Komal, Mostafa Mahmoud, Murad Hossain.

RESULT

Abahani 5 (Sunday 9, Jibon 52, Nasir 57, Mamunul 73, Shitol 80) 1 Arambagh (Murad 85)

FRIDAY'S MATCHES

Sk Jamal v Saif Sporting

Ctg Abahani v Kings


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