Arambagh Krira Sangha stunned Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club by sending the Bangladesh Premier Football League champions crashing out of the Federation Cup with a 5-4 penalty shootout victory in a dramatic quarter-final clash at Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.
The recently promoted premier league side reached the last four of the Federation Cup for the first time in recent years and will face the winner of the fourth quarter-final between Team BJMC and Muktijoddha Sangsad, scheduled for this Wednesday.
Veteran midfielder Enamul Haque and Haitian winger Wedson Anselme gave Sheikh Jamal, the two-time Federation Cup champions, a two-goal lead in the opening half but Cameroonian midfielder Yoko Samnick and Kester Akon's goals in the second half enabled Arambagh to return to the game.
After the extra 30 minutes failed to produce any goals, Sheikh Jamal goalkeeper Mazharul Islam Hemel dived to his right to save the first Arambagh penalty taken by Samnick.
Issah Yussif, Palash, Bhasani, Akon and Monsur Amin though converted all of their penalties in the tie-breaker.
On the other hand, Enamul missed Sheikh Jamal's third penalty after Nigerian forward Emeka Darlington and Wedson dispatched their penalties to the back of the net. Yeasin Khan and Gambian midfielder Landing Darboe also converted their chances but Kesto Kumar shot wide in sudden death to spark wild celebrations in the Arambagh dug-out.
For the first time this season, Sheikh Jamal's attacking trio – Wedson, Landing and Emeka – got the nod in the starting XI and they duly dominated the first half.
And unsurprisingly, it was Sheikh Jamal who took the lead in the 42nd minute when Enamul fired the ball into the near post after a defence-splitting through pass from Wedson.
Wedson doubled the lead in the added time of first half when he received a Landing pass before slotting home.
Arambagh appeared a different side after resumption, coming out of their defensive strategy.
Samnick was at the heart of all things good for Arambagh and he was rewarded for his hard-work at the hour mark when his glancing header from a Jafar Iqbal cross entered the net.
Akon then shocked the Dhanmondi-based outfit in the 70th minute when he brought parity, sending the ball over Hemel from a Samnick pass.
Sheikh Jamal missed a host of chances in extra time and it came back to haunt them in the penalty shootout as they exited the second tournament of this season in the last eight.
Sheikh Russel will take on Rahmatganj MFS today in the second quarter-final at 3:45pm.