Raul netted the all-important goal in the 52nd minute
Bashundhara Kings clinched the season opening Federation Cup after beating first-time finalist Saif Sporting Club 1-0 at Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka Sunday evening.
Chilean striker of Argentine origin Raul Beccera, playing his first professional tournament in Bangladesh, netted the all-important goal in the 52nd minute to take his competition tally to five.
This is the Kings’ third final appearance in the Fed Cup ever since their inception in the domestic football arena, and their second title overall after getting the better of unfancied Rahmatganj Muslim Friends Society in the last edition.
Bashundhara lost to record 11-time winners Abahani Limited in the tie-breaker when they contested their first Fed Cup final in 2018/19.
The Kings made two changes in the starting XI from the semi-final against Abahani at the same venue Thursday, Mahbubur Rahman Sufil and Biplu Ahmed making way for Matin Mia and Mohammad Ibrahim.
Playing with a 4-1-4-1 formation, Bashundhara could’ve gone ahead in just the fourth minute but Topu Barman’s goal was ruled out as off-side.
Record 11-time winners Abahani Limited fell victims to prejudiced refereeing as Bashundhara Kings advanced to the grand...Posted by Sports Tribune on Thursday, 7 January 2021
The Kings got another opportunity in the 16th minute when Bishwanath Ghosh’s shot was fisted away by Saif goalkeeper Pappu Hossain, while moments later, Raul shot wide.
Saif, with a 4-3-2-1 formation, had chances of their own as Nigerian John Okoli’s shot from a pass from compatriot, striker Ikechuku Kenneth, went over the crossbar and youngster Faisal Ahmed Fahim shot straight towards the grateful hands of goalkeeper Anisur Rahman Zico.
The Kings finally broke the deadlock six minutes into the second half when Brazilian Robinho passed to Raul, who evaded the attention of an opposition defender before finding the back of the net.
Kenneth, who like Raul also has five goals to his name in the Fed Cup, wasted two glorious chances in the 69th and 73rd minute to bring parity.
First, Zico turned away Kenneth’s shot for a corner before the Nigerian shot narrowly wide of the post moments later.