Reigning premier league top-scorer Raphael Odoyin Onwrebe netted the only goal in the opening half against a side who returned to the top-flight after spending a couple of seasons in the second tier
Sheikh Russel Krira Chakra started their TVS Federation Cup 2019 campaign with a solitary-goal victory over Uttar Baridhara Club in the opening Group D match at Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka Friday.
Reigning premier league top-scorer Raphael Odoyin Onwrebe netted the only goal in the opening half against a side who returned to the top-flight after spending a couple of seasons in the second tier.
Saiful Bari Titu was missed in the Russel dug-out due to ankle injury he suffered during the Victory Day exhibition match.
Assistant coach Masud Parvez Kaiser took charge while Alfaz Ahmed made his debut as head coach in top-flight for Baridhara.
Russel’s three key players from last season – Yeasin Khan, Bishwanath Ghosh (both Bashundhara Kings) and Mohammad Sohel Rana (Abahani Limited) – were replaced by Asaduzzaman Bablu, Sohel Rana and Galib Newaj respectively in the starting XI.
Russel went close to scoring in the 10th minute but Uzbek midfielder Azizov Alisher’s header from a Galib cross hit the woodwork.
Mohammad Abdullah, who spent the whole of last season on the bench due to Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury, made his return with an assist for the club’s first goal.
Bashundhara Kings began their TVS Federation Cup 2019 campaign with a 1-0 win over Brothers Union in the opening match of Group B at Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka Thursdayhttps://t.co/vETKg7TZ3m#FOOTBALL #BFF #FEDCUP #FEDERATIONCUP #FEDERATION #CUP #FED #KINGS #BROTHERS— Dhaka Tribune Sports (@Sport_DT) December 19, 2019
Raphael received the pass from Abdullah before drifting inside the box and placing home past the keeper at the near post. Moments later Bablu made a brilliant tackle to prevent Baridhara skipper Sumon Reza from taking a shot from vantage point inside the box.
Baridhara got their only chance of the half in the 42nd minute but national custodian Asraful Islam Rana made a superb save to deny substitute Papon Singh’s left-footer from 20 yards out.
Raphael squandered a good chance nine minutes into the second half when the Nigerian’s effort from an Abdullah pass was blocked by the keeper Azad Hossen.
In the 85th minute, Abdullah chipped over the keeper only to see it hit the sidepost.
Alfaz, former national striker, fielded a new face in Sumon Reza as lone striker.
Sumon, who made his top-flight debut, unleashed some good runs upfront but lacked finishing skills.
Russel: Ashraful Islam Rana; Asaduzzaman Bablu, Alison Udoka, Mohammad Sohel Rana, Yeamin Munna; Sheikh Galib Newaj, Mohammad Abdullah (Rashedul Alam Moni 90’), Alisher Azizov, Khondoker Ashraful Islam (Khalekuzzaman Sabuj), Pedro Henrique Oliveira (Toklis Ahmed); Raphael Odoyin Onwrebe.
Baridhara: Azad Hossen; Sangare Issouf, Hafijur Rahman, Saidul Hoque, Rabby Bhuiya; Shahidul Islam Shapon (Papon Singh), Simon Ezeodika, Landing Darboe, Arif Hossen, Noyon Mia (Jobayed Hasan Jikon); Sumon Reza.
Sk Russel 1 (Raphael 18) 0 Baridhara