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Dhaka Tribune

MSC stand in Jamal’s way

Update : 27 Nov 2013, 04:26 PM

The first ever encounter between big names Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club and Dhaka Mohammedan in the history of the Federation Cup promises a thrilling football match as the losers will bow out of the season’s first tournament. After the group stages it is also the first high-voltage match of the season between latest powerhouse Sheikh Jamal and traditional Black and Whites meet in the first quarterfinal of the Walton Federation Cup at 5:00pm at the Bangabandhu National Stadium today.

The knock-out stage match is expected to be a lively encounter as Jamal, the best team on paper, will be focused upon taking a big step towards the first title of the season while Mohammedan, backed by their strong base of supporter, will be looking forward to pull out a victory that will boost their morale for the upcoming challenges.

The two teams moved into the quarterfinals in contrasting ways with Jamal edging past Feni Soccer 1-0 and Mohammedan losing to arch-rivals Abahani 2-0 in their last respective matches. Jamal holds the upper hand over their opponents in the foreign players’ department. Haitian Sony Norde and Wedson will be the key in Jamal’s performance today while Mohammedan will be relying upon the national duo Zahid Hasan Emily and winger Zahid Hossain.

Josef Afusi, the Nigerian coach of Jamal conducted a serious training session yesterday at the club ground that contained video session and tactical sessions. “It will be a challenging one, Mohammedan is a traditional powerhouse, they are a good team and we are ready for the fight. They have got matured players. Tomorrow it will be an open game as Mohammedan definitely will have the hunger to win the match to proceed to the semis and in the consequence we will get chances, it would be a good match as there are only one option - to win the match and stay alive in the tournament. We are not taking anything for granted,” said Afusi.

Afusi hoped to fire in all cylinders in the match and said, “We have played two matches so far and grabbed full points. Things were not easy as we thought. We may have won by 2-0 and 1-0 margins, but you have to know that they both were Bangladesh Premier League teams and they definitely have some quality.

“I admit the fact we could have won by bigger margin but it’s not so easy. As I earlier said that I am not satisfied with the forward line I have asked them to concentrate more, I also would like to see my midfield more linked with the forward line, the supply would have to be resourceful,” said the Nigerian.

“We will not depend on Sony Norde, the whole team wants to get involved in the success. Sony has scored three goals, it’s the starting of the journey and he will be scoring more after he gets into the gear,” he added.   

Meanwhile, his counterpart Jewel Rana eyes nothing but a win in the game. “There is no option apart from a victory,” he said before adding, “Jamal is the best team on paper, but the in the field there are no such thing. We want to perform and win the match.”

The former national captain Rana also wants his players to show “mental integrity.”

“The senior players have to perform and provide the required elements, we must not repeat the silly mistakes of not marking the players,” he said.

“We don’t want to concede early goals. There is plenty of time and we have to utilise the chances. Our simple plan is not allowing Jamal any free space. There will be some plans to mark Sony Norde, the match is like a final to us, however , Hemanta’s vacuum is a blow to the team,” said Jewel .


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