• Thursday, Aug 06, 2020
  • Last Update : 03:51 pm

Underprepared Arambagh no match for Police

  • Published at 10:11 pm December 21st, 2019
Rotkovic
Police's Luka Rotkovic in action during their Fed Cup match against Arambagh in Dhaka Saturday Dhaka Tribune

American-born Puerto Rican striker Sidney Rivera netted a brace and substitute forward Mohammad Shadhin added the other, while a Jakir Hossain Jiku shot led the consolation own goal for Arambagh

Police FC moved one step closer to the quarter-final of the TVS Federation Cup 2019 with their first win of the season, beating an underprepared Arambagh Krira Sangha 3-1 in the second Group A match at Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka Saturday.

American-born Puerto Rican striker Sidney Rivera netted a brace and substitute forward Mohammad Shadhin added the other, while a Jakir Hossain Jiku shot led the consolation own goal for Arambagh, who have turned from mediocre to minnow after the casino crackdown in the capital.

After losing the majority of the players from last season, Arambagh managed to form a below-average squad and trained for less than a week together before the season-opening tournament under new head coach Sheikh Jahidur Rahman.

“It’s really difficult to settle a formation with only four days of training, whereas Police begun their preparation three-four months ago. We faced many problems, including finances, and formed the squad to survive in the league. The Federation Cup doesn’t matter much to us,” Jahidur said after the match.

However, Arambagh, playing with five defenders, were not that bad on the pitch despite only four days of preparation, and they went close to scoring in the 10th minute. 

Veteran midfielder Abdul Baten Komal saw his left-footer blocked by the keeper, moments after their keeper had denied Police winger MS Bablu's effort.

The rest of the match mostly featured Police pilling the pressure on the packed defence of Arambagh. 

Bablu broke into the right side of the penalty area after a quick one-two, but goalkeeper Rakibul Islam Shaon made a good save.

Rivera gave Police the deserved breakthrough in the 32nd minute, tapping home from close-range following a deflected corner from midfielder Naimur Rahman Shahed. 

After a dull hour of play, three goals were scored in the last 10 minutes. 

Rivera doubled the lead in the 82nd minute with a neat shot from the middle of the box after Aider Mambetaliev chested down a cross from Isa Faysal.

Jiku pulled one back through the own goal a minute before the stipulated end, after his right-footer deflected off Mambetaliev before rolling into the net. 

Shadhin, who replaced Bablu, killed the game with a simple finish in injury time, after Rivera's cross was blocked by Arambagh defender Yonta Michael on goal mouth.  

Arambagh will face holder Abahani Limited in the last group match Tuesday. 

A draw or win for Abahani, who thrashed Police 4-0, would knock Arambagh out of the competition.

“We followed the same strategy as the last game, although it didn’t work against Abahani. We could have scored four-five goals but I’m happy with the result. We want to play everyday like we did [Saturday],” Police coach Nikola Vitorovic said.

Starting XI

Arambagh: Rakibul Islam Shaon; Yonta Michael, Eleta Benjamin Junior (Murad Hossain), Didarul Hoque, Zahidul Islam Babu, Mohammad Rasel; Umor Faruk, Hasanuzzaman Kayes, Imran Hossain Rubel, Abdul Baten Komal (Arif Khan); Eleta Kingsley.

Police: Arifuzzaman Himel; Khan Mohammad Tara, Aider Mambetaliev, Artur Muladzhanov, Isa Faysal; Nazmul Islam Rasel, Naimur Rahman Shahed, MS Bablu (Mohammad Shadhin), Jamir Uddin; Sidney Rivera, Luka Rotkovic.


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