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Arambagh, from underdog to giant-killer

  • Published at 05:31 pm March 31st, 2018
  • Last updated at 03:07 pm April 6th, 2018
Arambagh, from underdog to giant-killer
Arambagh Krira Sangha were formed in Dhaka way back in 1958. Originally established as a football club, Arambagh later added handball, basketball and volleyball in their roster. Initially, the side were successful in different tournaments, including becoming champion in the 4th and 5th Shital Women’s Handball competitions. However, their first football triumph came in 1981 in the Alpha Cup Football Tournament in Nepal. They had to wait 14 long years before reaching another final – the 8th edition of the Chief Minister Gold Cup Football Tournament of Sikkim. They also finished runners-up in the Nagji Gold Cup Football Tournament in India in the same year. As far as domestic football is concerned, Arambagh emerged as the runners-up three times in the prestigious season-opening Federation Cup, in 1997, 2001 and 2016. International or domestic football, Arambagh’s crowning moment came in the 2018 Independence Cup where they defeated established powerhouses on their way to the title. [caption id="attachment_256327" align="aligncenter" width="800"] The Arambagh club den Dhaka Tribune/Syed Zakir Hossain[/caption] The club are currently being coached by decorated Bangladesh tactician, Maruful Haque, the only coach in South Asia with a Uefa A licence. Arambagh’s club office is situated in Motijheel while they do not have any designated home ground. They train regularly at the artificial turf of the Bangladesh Football Federation, which makes their Independence Cup triumph all the more remarkable. Arambagh beat Bangladesh Muktijoddha Sangsad Krira Chakra 2-0 in the group stage before losing 6-4 against Lt. Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club Limited 6-4 in a thriller. They caused a real upset in the quarter-final when they outclassed reigning top-flight champion Abahani Limited 3-0. They then avenged their defeat against Sheikh Jamal in the group stage by beating the Dhanmondi outfit 1-0 in the last four. In the grand finale, Arambagh, riding on some brilliant performances by Arif, Rockey and Jewel, overcame the challenge of rising giant Chittagong Abahani Limited. Top-scorer: Jewel Best player: Arif Player of the final: Arif   ROLL OF HONOUR Year Champion Runners-up Score 1972 Mohammedan East End Club 3-1 1989-90 Abahani Mohammedan 2-1 1991 Mohammedan Abahani 1-1 (4-2) 2005 Muktijoddha Brothers 2-0 2011 Farashganj Sk Russel 1-1 (5-4) 2013 Sk Russel Sk Jamal 3-2 2014 Mohammedan Feni SC 0-0 (5-4) 2016 Ctg Abahani Abahani 2-0 2018 Arambagh Ctg Abahani 2-0   Did you know? Established in 1958, Arambagh won their first ever domestic football title after 60 long years.   ROAD TO TITLE GROUP STAGE: Arambagh 2 (Sohel 4, Rajon 7) 0 Muktijoddha GROUP STAGE: Sk Jamal 6 (Raphael 8, 40, 45+1, Solomon 48, 90, Nurul 56) 4 Arambagh (Robiul 16, Bappy 22, Sumon 43, Bukola 90+1) QF: Arambagh 3 (Sufil 62, Jewel 81, Bappy 85) 0 Abahani SF: Arambagh 1 (Jewel 89) 0 Sheikh Jamal Final: Arambagh 2 (Arif 20, Rockey 45) 0 Ctg Abahani