Vol. 5 Num 994 Sun. March 18, 2007  

Muktijoddha beat Mohammedan

Saifur Rahman Moni guided Muktijoddha Sangsad to their first success in the B.League when the all Reds managed a solitary goal victory against giants Mohammedan Sporting Club at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

The seasoned striker converted a low corner taken by Firoz Mahmud Titoo with a tricky header in the 43rd minute to score the eventual match decider that belittled a much better display by the Black and Whites.

The big-spending side, which started their campaign with a goalless draw against Dhaka Abahani, headed into their home game smarting under a 1-0 away defeat against Chittagong Mohammedan and that's why the first win in three games gave the title aspirants a much-needed boost.

"We desperately needed the victory to get back the confidence after a pale start," said winning captain Moni who helped his side ride the luck in the Dhaka derby. It was however Mohammedan, having four points to their account, who put on a spirited display and created more opportunities than their opponents and they were frustrated by Muktijoddha's second goalkeeper Titumir Chowdhury who salvaged his side at least on two occasions.

Creative but now a bit burly, midfielder Arman Miah however was about to draw the first blood for Muktijoddha in the very second minute, but his powerful right-footer from 40 yards narrowly missed the target.

Mohammedan however took some time to find the rhythm and their Nigerian recruit Emeka almost put one home, but the unmarked forward's header on his compatriot Paul's cross just flew away in the 22nd minute.

The Motijheel outfit then kept their opponents under constant threat from the right flank thanks to impressive performance by Zahid Hossain and Zumratul Hossain Mithu but Nakib, Emeka and Paul missed several opportunities to cash in on the surge.

Trailing by 1-0, Mohammedan went all out in the second half to level the score and Paul unleashed a right-footed salvo in the 58th minute, but Titumir splendidly fisted the danger away.

Muktijoddha however left the field with dissatisfaction as Saiful Islam received a red card in the dying moments of the match due to hurling abuse towards referee Ramkrishna Ghosh.

Red card: Saiful Islam (Muktijoddha).

Yellow cards: Rajani, Motiur Munna, Brahim Bozziber and Alfaz (Muktijoddha), Biplob and Paul (Mohammedan).

Titumir, Rajani, Hasan Al Mamun, Titoo, Saiful, Arman (Biddyut), Arman Aziz, Motiur Munna, Brahim, Alfaz (Kanchan) and Moni.

MOHAMMEDAN: Himel, Zahid, Arif, Peter Odafe, Biplob, Ripon, Emeka, Chibuike, Mithu, Nakib (Forhad) and Paul.

Referee: Ramkrishna Ghosh.

Muktijoddha Sangsad 'keeper Titumir (R) punches away the ball from converging Mohammedan strikers during their B. League clash at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday. PHOTO: STAR