Muktijoddha Sangsad KC started their Grameenphone Bangladesh Premier League campaign on a winning note at their home venue of Sheikh Fazlul Haq Moni stadium in Gopalganj yesterday as they handed a single-goal defeat to visiting Arambagh KS.
Nigerian Chigozie Darlington struck the all-important goal in the 34th minute for last season's runners-up Muktijoddha Sangsad, who extended their winning record to seven, five in a row, in 11 professional football league matches against Arambagh.
This season Muktijoddha have chosen Gopalganj as their home venue after using the Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka five successive seasons and the players of the home club got huge applause from some 8,000 home crowd.
However, the match was a feisty affair as two players from each side got booked and Muktijoddha skipper Damy Emmanuel received serious head-injury that forced him to leave the field and being sent to the Gopalganj Medical Collage Hospital.
“He received treatment at the hpspital, but is now okay to go back to hotel, even though he feels a little bit of pain in his head,” said Muktijoddha coach Shafiqul Islam Manik.
Muktijoddha Sangsad enjoyed superior ball procession and came close to taking the lead in the eighth minute which wasn't capitalized fully. However, Darlington put Muktijoddha ahead in the 34th minute. Muktijoddha Sangsad came close to doubling the margin five minutes before the end when Biplob rattled the Arambagh post.
Arambagh, who adopted a counter-attacking strategy, put pressure in the last 15 minutes for the equaliser but could hardly breach the Muktijoddha backline.
Earlier, Major General (rtd.) Helal Murshed, chairman of Muktijoddha Central Command Council, inaugurated the match as chief guest.