Local striker Nabib Newaj Jibon scored one goal in the first half before Nigerian marksman Sunday Chizoba doubled the lead to confirm maximum three points for their side
Defending champion Abahani Limited kept their title hope alive as they won their Bangladesh Premier League match against Chittagong Abahani 2-0 amid thunderstorm at Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka Monday.
Local striker Nabib Newaj Jibon scored one goal in the first half before Nigerian marksman Sunday Chizoba doubled the lead to confirm maximum three points for their side.
With the win, Abahani now have 27 points, one point less than league leader Bashundhara Kings, who have earned 28 points from 10 matches so far.
The second goal of the game also took Sunday’s tally to nine and he is now leading by two goals along with Jibon, Ballo Famoussa of Bangladesh Muktijoddha Sangsad Krira Chakra and Siyo Zunapio of Rahmatganj Muslim Friends Society.
The match started in intense fashion and the Dhaka side took the lead in just the third minute but they were denied by the opposition goalkeeper.
Jibon unleashed a powerful shot from outside the penalty box but Chittagong Abahani keeper Mohammad Nehal parried that for a corner.
The goalie saved his side in the next minute as he blocked Masih Saighani’s header for a corner.
Nehal’s counterpart Shahidul Alam Sohel was equal to the task as he saved the Dhaka side three minutes later.
Chittagong’s Gambian recruit Momodou Bah took a powerful shot from the left side of the penalty box but Sohel saved it to keep his clean sheet.
Abahani took the lead in the 10th minute.
Haitian forward Kervent Belfort received a ball from Kom Min-Hyuk before providing a through pass for Jibon at the goalmouth.
The nimble footed local striker made a slide on the slippery surface, which got wet due to heavy rain, to break the deadlock.
Abahani took complete dominance of the match inside 19 minutes when Jibon shifted his role to an assister from a scorer as his cross from the right side found the net through a clean header by Sunday.
But the referee had to stop the game in the 39th minute as the intensity of rain and wind increased, and the players only came back on the pitch 40 minutes later.
After resumption, the Chittagong Abahani players demanded a penalty in the dying end of the first half as Shahed Hossain’s shot hit Abahani defender Tutul Hossain Badshah’s hand but the referee paid no heed.
The second half did not see any clear cut chance from either side and with the loss, the Chittagong side remained in eighth position with 11 points from 10 games.
Abahani 2 (Jiban 10, Sunday 17) 0 Ctg Abahani