Colombian forward Hember Arley Valencia slammed the first hat-trick of the season as Saif Sporting Club registered their fifth straight victory in the Bangladesh Premier League after outplaying Brothers Union 5-0 at Bangabandhu National Stadium on Saturday.
Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club, on the other hand, moved jointly to the top of the points table after beating Bangladesh Muktijoddha Sangsad Krira Chakra 2-1 in the day’s second match at the same venue.
The biggest margin of victory in the league this season didn’t change newcomer Saif Sporting’s position in the standing but they managed to close the gap to only one point with joint leaders Chittagong Abahani Limited and Sheikh Jamal.
They remained third with 15 points from six matches while Brothers remained seventh with only five points from the same number of games.
Hember dominated the scoresheet with an amazing treble but it was Jewel Rana whose performance also deserved special mention.
The national midfielder caused constant havoc on the opponent defence through the right wing and assisted four goals, including Hember’s all three goals.
It however, took big-spending Saif Sporting 45 minutes to break the deadlock, which came with a brilliant effort from Jewel.
Receiving a short pass from Matin Miah, Jewel took some time with the ball at the near post before his cutback slightly deflected off a defender and landed onto the feet of Hember who timely tapped home from three yards.
Hember doubled the lead a minute later in the added time, placing home past the Brothers goalkeeper with a right-footer from the middle of the box, following a low cross from Jewel from the right side.
Midfielder Hemanta Vincent Biswas extended the lead eight minutes into the second half as he fired home into the top right corner following a cutback by Jewel from the right edge of the penalty area.
Hember, who netted in the last two matches as well, completed his treble in the 64th minute.
Jewel set up the goal once again with a nice through pass that allowed Hember to move past a defender before entering the box unmarked and calmly slotting home past the keeper.
It was Hember’s fifth goal in the league this season.
In the 90th minute, Jamal Bhuiyan took a free-kick from the left side and it met Lordaba Escarpeta inside the box as the Colombian made no mistake heading home into the near post.
Meanwhile in the other match, Sheikh Jamal dominated the Muktis from the beginning and took the lead in the 23rd minute after a spectacular back volley by Gambian striker Solomon King.
Veteran Enamul Hoque headed down a corner towards Solomon who exhibited great technique to stun the Muktis defence with a right-footed back-volley from the top of the six-yard box.
Other Gambian forward Momodou Ba doubled the lead in the 36th minute following a blunder from Muktis custodian Shaikh Nahiuddin Lalu.
An Enamul long ball bounced over Lalu with Momodou running past the netminder before rolling the ball into an empty net.
Munna reduced the arrears in the 66th minute but it was too little, too late.
Saif Sporting 5
(Hember 45, 45+4, 64, Hemanta 53, Andes 90+2) 0 Brothers
Sheikh Jamal 2
(Solomon 23, Momodou 36) 1 Muktijoddha