football terms – Mohammedan’s sights on semis

Mohammedan all but confirmed a quarterfinal berth in the Federation Cup with a massive 7-0 win over Uttara Azampur in a Group A encounter while Rahmatganj surprised Sheikh Jamal to win 3-0 and keep their hopes of a quarterfinal berth alive yesterday.

Mohammedan are top of Group A with six points and a game in hand while Sheikh Jamal are level with Rahmantganj on three points each from two games.

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Mohammedan coach Shafiqul Islam Manik made six changes to the team that suffered a 0-2 loss to Sheikh Russel in a Bangladesh Premier League match last Friday and the moves paid huge dividends as his team toyed with Azampur, taking a 3-0 lead at half-time before adding four more goals at the Shaheed Dhirendranath Datta Stadium in Cumilla.

Despite the absence of Malian forward Souleymane Diabate, Mohammedan’s attacking line-up proved devastating, leaving Azampur totally helpless.

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Uzbek attacking midfield Muzaffarjon Muzaffarov and national-team forward Sazzad Hossain struck a brace each while Brazilian defender Roger Oliveira, Spanish forward Daniel Ricardo and Shahriar Emon netted one goal apiece as the team found some room to breathe after a hard-fought 1-0 win over Rahmatganj in their tournament opener.

At the Shaheed Flight Lt Matiur Rahman Stadium in Munshiganj, Sheikh Jamal made seven changes to the team that had played out a 1-1 draw against Chittagong Abahani, but it did not work out as it had for Mohammedan.

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Last edition’s runners-up Rahmatganj looked far more motivated and emerged as the better side after surviving the initial pressure. Rahmatganj went ahead after Tajik forward Fatkhulo Fatkhulloev converted a penalty after Omar Faruque Babu handled the ball inside the box.

The Old Dhaka outfit came close twice to doubling the lead before Brazilian Michael Vinicius headed a Fatkhulloev corner home in stoppage time of the first half. After resumption, Maruful Haque sent on three fresh players to control the match, but his charges could not find the target. Instead, Colombian Jhoaho Valencia wrapped up the victory for Rahmatganj with a header in the 74th minute.

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