Russell, Muktis favourites as semi-final looms

March 29, 2013

Abahani Limited goes up against Sheikh Russell in a crucial Group B encounter while Team BJMC will lock horns with Muktijoddha Sangsad in Group C to determine two
semi-final spots in the Independence Cup at the Bangabandhu National Stadium today.
Sheikh Jamal and Mohammedan Sporting Club have already confirmed their berths in the last four after the completion of the Group A matches.
Even though the match between Jamal and Mohammedan ended in a goalless draw, Jamal qualified as group champions while Mohammedan ensured their passage as the best
runners up side among the three groups after both the teams were tied on points.
Jamal emerged group champions courtesy of a better goal difference and Mohammedan went through as the only runners up side. Only the group champions and the best
runners up side among the three groups will go through in the semi-finals.
Therefore, only the group champions of Group B and C will guarantee their last four place.
Russell has the advantage over Abahani due to a superior goal scoring record as both the teams are locked on six points and an identical goal difference (+3).
Russell lead Group B since they have scored a goal more than their rivals so a draw will be enough for Russell to go through whereas anything less than a victory will
see Abahani eliminated from the competition.
Abahani does not have a single win in two encounters against Russell this year. They have faced two times in the Bangladesh Premier League where Russell prevailed in
one clash while the other ended in a 1-1 draw.
Abahani’s two central defenders Sujon and Samad Yussif are not match-fit although one among the two might get the nod to protect the back four. Abahani manager
Satyajit Das Rupu informed that midfielder Pranotosh, who has been suffering a groin injury, is also fit for today’s match.
Russell on the other hand has a few injury concerns of their own. Haitian playmaker Soni Norde, Moroccan midfielder Tarik Al Janaby and defender Mamun Mia has been
suffering with injuries but in spite of them, coach Maruful Haq was confident about his team progressing to the last four.
Meanwhile, in Group C the scenario was the same as Group B where Muktijoddha lead the group with four points, the same as BJMC but the freedom fighters’ side has a
better goal difference than BJMC. Shafikul Islam Manik’s Muktijoddha will play for a draw whereas BJMC need nothing less than a victory to secure their semi-final
ticket.

-With New Age input

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