Published: Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Grameenphone Bangladesh Premier League 2012-13

10-man BJMC punish Abahani

Sky Blues all but out

Abahani players are sitting stunned in silence at the Bangabandhu National Stadium after their 3-1 defeat by Team BJMC that effectively dashed their hopes of retaining the Bangladesh Premier League title yesterday.  Photo: Star

Abahani players are sitting stunned in silence at the Bangabandhu National Stadium after their 3-1 defeat by Team BJMC that effectively dashed their hopes of retaining the Bangladesh Premier League title yesterday. Photo: Star

Defending champions Abahani were all but eliminated from the title race after they suffered a 3-1 defeat at the henads of ten-man BJMC in their penultimate round match of Grameenphone Bangladesh Premier League at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.
National striker Toklish Ahmed struck twice while Ismael Bangoura netted one in the first half for BJMC before they were reduced to ten as midfielder Omar Faruq Babu picked up two yellow cards. Shakhawat Hossain Rony scored a consolation goal for Abahani in the second half.
Abahani’s defeat, coupled with other title-contenders Sheikh Jamal DC’s defeat away to Fenis Soccer Club, virtually gave Sheikh Russel a free reign. The Federation Cup and Independence Cup champions will need only a draw against Sheikh Jamal in their penultimate round match on Wednesday to ensure their first-ever league title and a treble.
A draw against Sheikh Jamal will see Sheikh Russel take an unassailable four-point lead with a match in hand while a defeat against Sheikh Jamal will keep Sheikh Russel waiting to ensure the coveted title. In that case they will need three points against Feni Soccer Club in their last match of the league to ensure the title.
Meanwhile, Abahani’s title chances had already grown slimmer when they drew 1-1 against archrivals Mohammedan in their previous match, but the Sky Blues got a lifeline when Sheikh Jamal lost to Feni Soccer. But yesterday’s defeat has all but eliminate that chance as they will need a miraculous something to happen – that is a draw between Sheikh Russel and Sheikh Jamal and then those two losing their last matches – for Abahani to have any chance of retaining the title.
Abahani are now in second position with 29 points from 15 matches, three behind Sheikh Russel who have played 14. Sheikh Jamal have 28 points from 14 matches.
Abahani’s Iranian coach Ardeshir Pournamet took all the responsibilities for the defeat but alleged that he could not control his players in the last six months and had also no answers from the team management.
“Today I fielded a second-string side as many of my players have been suffering from injuries which they mostly picked up from practising at sub-standard ground,” said Pournamet. “The players had always started practice before I arrived. Even they went home straight after practice instead of resting at the club tent. I could not control them and I am responsible for the defeat.”
Away at Shaheed Salam Stadium in Feni, Mohammedan SC played out a 1-1 draw against hosts Feni Soccer Club to finish fourth, a place below their previous year’s finish, with 25 points from 16 matches. Feni Soccer have leapfrogged Brothers Union into seventh position in the nine-team table with 12 points from 15 matches.