Flying start for champions
Reigning champions Bashundhara Kings made a flying start in season’s curtain-raising Federation Cup with a 3-0 win against last edition’s beaten finalists Rahmatganj MFS at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.
Argentine forward Raul Becerra and Brazilian midfielder Robson Da Silva scored one goal apiece for Kings while Rahmatganj’s Egyptian defender Alaeeddin Nasr Eissa scored an own goal to ensure an easy victory for the star-studded outfit.
Bashundhara Kings’ last match was in March this year when they thrashed Maldivian outfit TC Sports 5-0 in the AFC Cup before the pandemic halted proceedings. The Bangladesh Premier League champions initially struggled to break Rahmatganj, who were playing with only one foreigner against Kings’ four.
Kings coach Oscar Bruzon claimed his team are in better shape than the last season, but they seemed to have lost the cutting edge upfront in absence of Costa Rican World Cupper Daniel Colindres.
Before the start of the season’s first domestic match in front of an almost empty stadium, Kings’ new recruits — Becerra, Jonathan Fernandes and Robson were at the centre of attention regarding their debut in Bangladesh football.Even though they could hardly show their individual skill and failed to capitalise on some scoring opportunities inside the box, it must be said that they were behind all the attacking moves with nice exchange of the ball among them. Unfortunately they failed to beat goalkeeper Rasel Mahmud Liton from one-on-one situation on a few occasions.
Rahmatganj came into the match on the back of four weeks of reparation, so Kings might face a lot of trouble against stiffer opposition.
From the word go, Kings, as expected, established their full control on the match and created some good chances in the first half, with Becerra squandering an opportunity in the second minute with only Liton to beat. Defender Yeasin Khan saw his header at rear post narrowly miss the target in the next minute.
Becerra was again denied by Liton in the 12th minute while Rahmatganj forward Sanoar Hossain danced past two Kings defenders inside the box to muster a shot from a difficult angle, only to be blocked by Kings goalkeeper Anisur Rahman Zico on the half-hour mark.
Kings finally broke the deadlock three minutes from the break when Becerra rose high to nod home a well-judged free-kick from Robson.
After resumption, Becerra was used as a Number 10 while Robson played in number nine position and the Brazilian doubled the margin availing a fumble from defender Mahmudul Hasan Kiran after his countryman Jonathan Fernandes had failed to beat goalkeeper Liton from a one-on-one situation.
Becerra and Robson narrowly missed the target on the hour-mark before Rahmatganj defender Alaeeddin Nsr headed into his own net when a clearance from Liton came his way in front of goal in the 65th minute.
Rahmatganj, who lost 2-1 against Kings in last edition’s final, tried to press on Kings and denied them from extending the lead any further.
Basundhara Kings 3
Rahmatganj MFS 0
Becerra 42′, Robson 53′,
Nasr 65′ (OG)