Rising powerhouse Chittagong Abahani rose to the top of the Bangladesh Premier League points table following their 1-0 victory over Brothers Union at Bangabandhu National Stadium on Wednesday.
Former national captain Mamunul Islam netted the all-important goal from a free kick 30 yards out in the 23rd minute to propel the port city outfit to 24 points, a point ahead of powerhouse Abahani Limited, who earlier in the day won 2-0 against overnight leader Rahmatganj at the same venue, thanks to a spectacular brace from Sunday Chizoba.
After taking the lead early in the second half, Nigerian striker Sunday scored an outstanding winner from almost the halfway line in injury time that secured the Sky Blues' three vital points at the end of the league. Besides Sunday's brace, the game also witnessed two red cards in the last couple of minutes.
It was an interesting affair right from the beginning with Rahmatganj knowing that a win would cement their place at the top after the opening phase for the first time in the club's professional league history. There were no lack of dedication from the Old Dhaka outfit but Abahani looked more clinical.
Both the goalkeepers had a solid game. Abahani custodian Shahidul Alam Sohel fisted away a powerful 30-yard free-kick from Gambian midfielder Jatta Mustapha at the quarter-hour mark.
Rahmatganj netminder Samiul Islam Masum made a quick save in the 32nd minute to deny Sunday’s sliding header from the six-yard box.
Rahmatganj midfielder Faysal Ahmed's cheeky effort from outside the box was then tipped away by the Abahani keeper five minutes later. Masum appeared to be the saviour for Rahmatganj again just a minute later when he fisted away a curved shot from Hemanta Vincent Biswas from inside the box.
Hemanta squandered a decent chance at the stroke of the first half when he shot wide on an empty net. Within a minute, Masum rescued his side with a superb block to deny Sunday, who was one-on-one with the keeper inside the box.
The Sky Blues went ahead with three minutes into the second half. A long ball from Jewel Rana was chested down by Sunday at the top of the box before the Nigerian stepping forward to calmly slot home past Masum.
Mahbub Hasan Nayan missed a sitter to equalise the margin moments later after a fine ball from Siyo Zunapio. Sohel punched away another long free kick of Mustapha in the 56th minute. Masum produced another brilliant save five minutes later to deny Jewel's effort.
Sunday perhaps scored one of the best goals of the season to seal victory in injury time. Masum was a bit out of his zone and Sunday took the chance superbly with a looping shot from four yards in front of the half-line that flew over the keeper before dipping down inside the post. It was the Nigerian's 10th goal in the league this season, thus making him the top-scorer so far.
Brothers 0 1 Ctg Abahani
(Sunday 48, 90+1) 0 Rahmatganj