Abahani win at unruly Tangail

May 31, 2012

League leaders Abahani tightended their grip on the title as they came from behind to beat hosts Team BJMC 3-2 in their crucial match of the Grameenphone Bangladesh Premier League at the Tangail Stadium yesterday.
Linkon, Da Silva and Twum Frank struck one goal each for Abahani while Ajagun Abdul Rasheed and Uche Felix netted one goal each for BJMC.
The win extends Abahani’s lead at the top of the table to five points as they have 36 points from 15 matches while second-placed Muktijoddha have 31 points from same number of matches.
Apart from the hard-fought football, the match also saw action from the officials as a BJMC official named Belal Ahmed assaulted assistant referee Mahbubur Rahman after the final whistle was blown. Mahbub was kicked and punched by the official who sat in the dugout, alleging Mahbub of biased refereeing. The hapless referee was later saved from the fury of the BJMC official as cops intervened.
There was also chaos in and around the pitch as the thousands of spectators occupied the pitch as soon as the final whistle was blown as there are no fences between the gallery and the playing area. Even a vehicle carrying the brother of the municipality mayor entered the pitch after the match.
Abahani’s Iranian coach Ali Akbar said they felt insecure after the game as the spectators surrounded them.
“Look at the surrounding, it is a very dangerous venue considering the positions of the dugout, gallery and spectators,” said Ali Akbar.
However, BJMC coach Jakaria Babu defended the crowd saying that their spectators are well-behaved and it was only bad refereeing that made them enter the pitch and protest.”
The game too was dominated by the home team BJMC with Nigerian duo Abdul Rasheed and Uche Felix unsettling the backline of Abahani several times despite. BJMC went ahead in the second minute when Felix and Rasheed combined. Felix put a lob over Abahani defender Mohammad Sujan and Rasheed darted into the box to control it before driving a grounder past Abahani goalkeeper Shahidul Alam Sohel.
Abahani levelled the margin on 22 minutes when Linkon, playing as a winger instead of left-back, volleyed home a Awudu Ibrahim free-kick. Afterwards, BJMC came close to restoring the lead twice but Felix and Jean Jules Ikanga squandered chances before the break.
After resumption, BJMC stepped up the attack and yielded a good number of chances before restoring the lead on 64 minutes. Abahani goalkeeper Sohel failed to grip a lob properly and Felix tapped in from close.
However, they could hold on to the lead for only three minutes as Abahani’s Brazilian Silva nodded home an Arman Aziz chip from the six-yard box on 67 minutes.
Abahani were lucky to find the decider in the 77th minute as Wali Faisal ran down from the left to put a lob for Twum Frank who entered the box playing one-two with his compatriot Ibrahim and placed the ball from close range to score the decisive goal.
The defeat saw BJMC saw remain on 23 points, but they were overtaken in third position by Sheikh Russel who defeated Brothers Union 4-1 in the other encounter at the Bangabndu National Stadium yesterday, thanks to a second-half hattrick from midfielder Mezbahul Huq Manik. Sheikh Russel moved to third position with 24 points.
In the other match played at the Birsheshtha Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur, Feni Soccer Club defeated Farashganj SC 1-0 with Rowland scoring the decider on 55 minutes.

-With The Daily Star input

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