Sk Russel aim to rebound
After a day’s break, the third round of the JB Bangladesh Premier League resumes today with a high-voltage fixture as Chittagong Abahani take on Sheikh Russel KC at the MA Aziz Stadium in Chittagong.
The first two rounds saw contrasting performances with the minnows dominating the opening round before the giants and title contenders, with the exception of Sheikh Russel KC, bounced back strong in the second round — which saw 22 goals scored across six matches, which was double the amount of goals in the first round.
Promoted Uttar Baridhara and minnows Rahmatganj MFS produced upsets in the first and second rounds respectively by beating big-spenders Sheikh Russel, treble winners in 2012-13. That feat saw Rahmatganj ascend to the top of the table along with four other teams by the end the second round while Uttar Baridhara claimed the number two spot with three points.
Now Bottom-placed Sheikh Russel, in an attempt to salvage the wreckage which is now their season, have lifted the internal ban imposed on Ethiopian striker Fikru Teferra.
Teferra missed the entire Federation Cup and first two matches of the league following his scuffle with Nigerian striker Paul Emile during the Independence Cup.
“Actually we created a lot of scoring chances against Farashganj but we could not avail any of them and it might be because of not having a real striker upfront. Zahid Hasan Emily and Shakhawat Hossain Ronny are not fit yet but Fikru is supposed to play tomorrow [Monday],” said Sheikh Russel captain Atiqur Rahman Meshu, adding that the whole squad was downtrodden after two successive defeats.
“Chittagong Abahani have improved match after match. They are ahead of us in terms of performance. We have to come out of our poor form by putting up better performances. If we win against Chittagong Abahani, then it will be a morale boost for us,” said the discarded national defender.
Joint league leaders Chittagong Abahani have been in a fantastic rhythm after playing two big matches against Abahani and Mohammedan. In their opening match, Chittagong Abahani held their Dhaka namesakes to a 1-1 draw, but during the second the port city outfit outplayed the more popular Black and Whites, striking four goals. Left-winger Rubel Mia is in great touch, having scored three goals from the two matches, while teenage right- winger Mohammad Ibrahim has proven to be menace to defenders. Hence, the impending clash between Chittagong Abahani and Sheikh Russel is expected to be a mouth-watering occasion for spectators.
In the day’s first match, giant-killers Rahmatganj will take on title holders Sheikh Jamal DC, who bounced back in their second match with a 5-3 win over Baridhara after playing out a 1-1 draw against Arambagh KS.