Sheikh Russel sail into quarters
Sheikh Russel Krira Chakra booked their Federation Cup 2018 quarter-final spot in style as they tore through Muktijoddha Sangsad Krira Chakra by 2-0 goals in the Group C encounter of the tournament at Bangabandhu National Stadium in the capital on Wednesday.
It was the brilliance of Alex Rafael and Raphael Odovin Onwrebe coupled with the strategic mind of Sheikh Russel coach Saiful Bari Titu which earned the treble winners this sensational feat.
Their speedy advancement to the quarter-finals is partly due to the Muktijoddha’s terrible stint in Fed Cup 2018 as Muktis were downed by Dhaka Abahani in their first match by 0-1 goal. This meant that Muktijoddha are already out of the tournament with a disheartening start in the season.
Sheikh Russel will take on Dhaka Abahani Ltd in the final match of Group C in their fight for the spot of group champions on November 5.
The treble winners had the opportunity to take the lead early on in the match Sheikh Russel went on offence since the commencement of the match.
In the first couple of the minutes, Sheikh Russel launched multiple scathing attacks and came quite close to scoring as Russel midfielder Md Khalekuzzaman could not tickle a pass into the nets from his fellow forward. He lost balance and took a shot without target.
Despite the torrent of Sheikh Russel attacks, Muktijoddha managed to create opportunities. In the 24th minute of the match, Mukti forward Banno Famosa came from the left wing and passed a low ball to fellow forward Yuoshu Kato. Kato’s bulleting shot was fisted away by Sheikh Russel keeper Ashraful Islam Rana.Sheikh Russel sail into quarters
First-half ended with neither team managing to break the deadlock.
Sheikh Russel came back to the turf with reinvigorated zeal and nearly scored their first goal on the 57th minute as Odovin’s bulleting shot kissed the bar as it flew above the all important rectangle.
But the football-gods were soon smiling down on Sheikh Russel as Odovin scored a sensational goal in a counter-attack with well directed pass from Alex Rafael. Sheikh Russel lead the encounter with a scoreline of 1-0.
Sheikh Russel’s prized overseas recruit Alex Rafael sealed the match for his team with a brutal goal in the 92nd minute with a pass from Odovin.
In the second match of the day, Team BJMC edged past Brothers Union by 3-2 goals in their Federation Cup group-stage encounter at the same venue.
Both the teams managed to score two goals in the first half. As the played resumed, Team BJMC upped the pressure to get ahead of the Brothers Union.
Despite a spirited show in the field. Brothers Union had to concede defeat which slimmed their chances to make it to the quarter-final of the tournament.