The former treble winner will take on Brothers Union in the first semi at the same venue next Wednesday
Sheikh Russel Krira Chakra finally got the goals as they swept into the semi-final of the Walton Independence Cup 2018-19 season after beating Chittagong Abahani 2-0 in the second quarter-final at Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka Wednesday.
The former treble winner will take on Brothers Union in the first semi at the same venue next Wednesday.
Uzbek midfielder Alisher Azizov and Brazilian forward Alex Rafael Antonio netted one apiece in the opening half, which was enough for Saiful Bari Titu’s side to register their first win in the tournament.
Sheikh Russel also opened their scoring in the tournament after being held to draws in both of their group stage matches.
Sheikh Russel’s solid defence maintained its fine form to sustain the lead, as well as register their third straight cleansheet.
Alisher looked in better shape after recovering from injury, having missed the group phase’s opening game.
The course has been organised by Association for Research Development and Rights Implementation of Disabilities and National Paralympic Committee of Bangladesh in collaboration with the BFF and International Federation of CP Football.https://t.co/7xfE0ROnFC#BFF #FOOTBALL #CP— Dhaka Tribune Sports (@Sport_DT) December 12, 2018
Titu hoped for a full recovery before the next week’s semi-final.
Alisher went close to scoring in the 28th minute when he dribbled past a defender with sheer pace through the right side of the box, but his final touch from close range was blocked by an alert defence.
Sheikh Russel finally broke the deadlock in the 35th minute through Alisher’s left-footed volley from inside the box after Raphael headed down Bishwanath Ghosh’s cross from the right flank in front of the unmarked Alisher.
Raphael doubled the lead three minutes later after a silly blunder from the Chittagong Abahani defence.
Taking advantage from an opponent defender’s failed attempt in clearing Biplo’s cross, the Brazilian took a left-footer soon after entering the box that rolled past left to the keeper.
The second half was a dull affair with a lack of promising attacks from both the sides.
Titu admitted after the game that his instruction to the players during the break was to resume the second half with a mindset that the game was goalless.
The port-city outfit lacked the attacking instincts needed to penetrate Sheikh Russel’s tight defence, led by in-form Nigerian defender Alison Udoka and Yeasin Khan.
Their misplaced passes and long balls could rarely trouble the opponent.
Momodou Bah tried his luck with a 50th-minute strike from the left edge of the box but it flew over the bar.
“Both of our two group opponents (Bashundhara Kings and Lt. Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club Limited) were aggressive sides, so we had to be cautious. We couldn’t score the goals but (yesterday) our plan was to keep the opponent’s defence under pressure from the beginning and score early goals,” said Titu after the game.
Ctg Abahani 0 2 Sk Russel (Alisher 35, Rafael 38)
Abahani v Saif, 4:30pm
The game will be held at BNS, Dhaka