At the end of the relegation battle between the two Old Dhaka outfit, Rahmatganj Muslim Friends Society ensured their place in the top-flight next season after handing big-spending Saif Sporting Club a surprising 2-0 defeat in the final matchday of the Bangladesh Premier League at Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka Saturday. The result saw Farashganj Sporting Club get relegated to the second-tier league.
Captain and midfielder Naimur Rahman Shahed put Rahmatganj ahead with only two minutes into the clock and Sohel Rana doubled the lead in the 33rd minute with a left-footed volley following Gambian forward Dawda Ceesay's header.
Rahmatganj head coach Kamal Ahmed Babu couldn't hold back his tears after a “do-or-die” match and began the post-match press conference by blaming Lt. Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club for putting them under pressure by “giving away” the game to Farashganj Thursday. A press release from Rahmatganj signed by the club's vice-president Mohammad Jamal Uddin also supported Babu's statement.
When queried by a reporter if Rahmatganj had tried to approach Saif Sporting before the game, Babu replied, "We actually tried and told them, 'Brother, if Sheikh Jamal can save other club then why not you save us? They said they can't do such a thing even if the world falls apart. Win it on the field if you can’."
Babu added, "Both goals were excellent. We created pressure right from the beginning and got success. The opponent had nothing to do with any of the goals. We tighly marked Jewel Rana and Matin Miah."
Saif Sporting concluded their debut premier league season at fourth with 41 points while Farashganj finished 10th with 18 points, a point more than relegated Farashganj. Saif Sporting would have finished third had they earned three points in their last match. British forward Charlie Sheringham was the only member in the squad who was suspended for the game for receiving three yellow cards. There was no other foreign player (Wedson Anselme and Hember Valencia) in the playing XI, nor even among the nine on the bench and the reason can be explained by the fact that only local players will be eligible to play in the Independence Cup, kicking off Tuesday.
There was no live telecast of Saturday’s matches due to “technical problem”. It was explained that the unfortunate issue happened as there were camera and equipment errors by Blueline Communications Limited, a production house of Saif Power Tec, which is the parent company of Saif Sporting and premier league title sponsor Saif Power Battery.
Meanwhile, the 10th edition of the BPL concluded with Saturday’s second game between Sheikh Russel Krira Chakra and Arambagh Krira Sangha, which ended in a goalless draw. Sheikh Russel remained at sixth with 27 points while Arambagh finished the league at eighth with 21 points.
(Shahed 2, Sohel 33) 0 Saif Sporting
Sk Russel 0 0 Arambagh