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Dhaka derby takes centre-stage

  • Published at 10:22 pm December 5th, 2016
  • Last updated at 02:54 am December 6th, 2016
Dhaka derby takes centre-stage
Leaders Abahani Limited will take on their fiercest arch-rival, the struggling Mohammedan Sporting Club in the season's second and last Dhaka derby at Sheikh Fazlul Haque Moni Stadium in Gopalganj on Tuesday. Baishakhi TV will telecast the match live at 3pm. Abahani are enjoying one of their finest seasons in recent times. The Sky Blues are close to lifting their fifth professional league title and with only four rounds left, the derby against the Black and Whites could prove to be crucial in their bid to end the premier league trophy drought. Mohammedan, who failed to win any league title in the last decade, have been going through one of their most awful seasons recently, struggling at the bottom half of the points table. They were completely outplayed by the Sky Blues in the first phase, conceding a 3-0 thrashing. Abahani's Austro-Hungarian coach George Kottan has only one realistic competitor left in the title race heading into final stretch of the league - Chittagong Abahani. But if Abahani continue their winning streak against Mohammedan, they will move five points clear of their namesake with four matches to go. The rivalry between the two traditional clubs has somewhat lost its glory and has failed to attract crowd like before. The current circumstances, including the players' quality and squad strength, have enabled Abahani to outclass their rival more often than not in the recent past. The current gap between the two clubs in the points table is 22. Nigerian striker Sunday Chizoba has been in terrific form, slamming 18 goals so far in the league, four more than anyone else. But Abahani's best performer throughout the season is unarguably their new-signing, English midfielder Lee Andrew Tuck. Both scored against Mohammedan in the first phase two and a half months ago. Abahani also have the most number of representatives in the national team while Mohammedan’s squad is a bit weak compared to the previous seasons, with no players featuring for Bangladesh. The two sides have faced each other 18 times in professional league history with Abahani winning six times and Mohammedan turning out victorious in four with eight encounters ending in a draw. Mohammedan only tasted their first win in five matches the last time they featured in the top-flight a couple of days ago while Abahani are the only side remaining in the 12-team league who are still unbeaten. Currently, Abahani have 39 points from 17 matches while the port city outfit are only two points behind having played a game more. Mohammedan, on the other hand, are placed 10th with only 17 points from as many matches. This will be the first time in the history of the league that Abahani and Mohammedan will play each other in Gopalganj.
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