Abahani Limited moved jointly to the top of the Bangladesh Premier League points table after outclassing arch-rival Mohammedan Sporting Club 3-0 in the season's first Dhaka derby at Bangabandhu National Stadium on Wednesday.
Hemanta Vincent Biswas put the Sky Blues ahead in the opening half before Sunday Chizoba and Lee Andrew Tuck netted one apiece in the dying stages of the game to salvage three vital points which helped them to join Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club at the top of the table.
It was Abahani's fourth victory in the league this season while the Black and Whites are yet to win a single game. The four-time professional league champions now have 15 points from seven matches while Mohammedan remained at 10th with only five points.
Young midfielder Hemanta made only his second start this season after a knee injury kept him out of the pitch. George Kottan fielded him at centre forward for the very first time in the league. Hemanta repaid the coach's faith throughout the game, running here and there and troubling the opposition defenders with his quick movements.
English playmaker Tuck continued his fine form and made fine chemistry with Hemanta. The combination of the attacking duo continuously threatened the Mohammedan defence with the first real attack coming in the 17th minute.
Collecting a pass from Emon Mahmud, Tuck, from the right flank, drove the ball onto the path of Hemanta, whose powerful shot from the middle of box was brilliantly fisted away by the Mohammedan goalkeeper for a corner. Emon's curled effort from a Tuck corner flew inches over the crossbar.
Hemanta gave Sky Blues the much deserved breakthrough in the 27th minute. Tuck provided a lovely through pass for the national midfielder who broke into the penalty area before slotting home past Mohammad Nehal into the far post.
Mohammedan struggled to find rhythm, were outplayed in midfield and rarely created any clear-cut chances. Nehal made a number of saves to rescue his side from conceding more, including one in the 77th minute when his diving save denied Sunday's great effort.
Sunday seemed like he was gathering all his energy for the late stages of the tie as he doubled the lead a minute before the end of stipulated time, sending the ball into the near post after entering inside the box from a through pass by substitute midfielder Shahedul Alam Shahed.
Tuck was rewarded for his outstanding performance with a lovely goal to seal victory in injury time. Sunday provided a defence-splitting through pass for Tuck, who chipped the ball calmly over Nehal to find the back of the net.
Feni hold Rahmatganj
Ten-man Rahmatganj MFS were held to a 1-1 draw against Feni Soccer Club in the day's first match at the same venue. The old Dhaka outfit are still unbeaten in the league after the end of the seventh round and now sit third with 13 points, two behind joint leaders Sheikh Jamal and Abahani.
Rahmatganj forward Mehbub Hasan Nayon scored the opener in the 25th minute with a toe-poke from a pass by Congolese striker Sino Zunapiyo. Rahmatganj were then reduced to 10 men in the 86th minute when Zunapio received his second yellow card.
Forward Chowmrin Rakhain cancelled out the lead in the 88th minute from a penalty after Feni defender Mohammad Helal was brought down by Rahmatganj defender Asif Hasan Rimon.
Soccer Club 1
(Chowmrin 88 - P) 1 Rahmatganj
(Hemanta 27, Sunday 89, Tuck 90+1) 0 Mohammedan