Sunday, April 21, 2019

Newcomers Bashundhara Kings stun Sheikh Russel KC to clinch Swadhinata Cup 

  • Sports Correspondent,
    Published: 2018-12-26 19:24:14 BdST


Bashundhara Kings have earned their maiden title by beating Sheikh Russel KC in their debut season after breaking into the top division of domestic football.

In the final match of the Swadhinata Cup at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka on Wednesday, the winners edged the 2012-13 champions 2-1.

Last month, Abahani Limited had shattered Bashundhara’s dream of clinching the maiden title in this season’s first tournament, the Federation Cup, with a 3-1 win in the final game.

Bashundhara avenged the loss by beating Abahani in a penalty shootout in the Swadhinata Cup semifinals thanks to brilliant goalkeeping by Anisur Rahman Zico, who also had converted a spotkick.

On Wednesday, Zico again came to the rescue of Spanish coach Óscar Bruzón’s side by blocking the effort of Nigerian forward Raphael Odovin Onwrebe in the eighth minute.

Bashundhara then took the lead when Brazilian forward Marcos Da Silva’s long-range cracker found the net in the 17th minute.

Sheikh Russel missed another chance when Odovin failed to make contact with an Alisher Azizov header. 

Odovin was not to be denied third time as he struck the equaliser in the added time of the first half. After blocking Yeamin Ahmed Chowdhury’s shot in the 43rd minute, Zico could not stop Odovin’s shot from outside the box.

The match went into extra time after Odovin missed two more chances in the 67th minute and 76th minute in the goalless second half.

Forward Matin Mia scored the winner as he curled in a shot from inside the box in the fifth minute of extra time.

Both sides missed a few more chances and Bashundhara held on to the lead to celebrate their maiden title.