Two goals by Uzbek striker Alister Azizov in a span of only six minutes took Sheikh Russel KC to the final of the 13-team Walton Independence Cup Football Tournament‘ 2018 eliminating Brothers Union Club by 2-0 goals in the first semifinal at the Bangabandhu National Stadium on Wednesday.
They will play the final on Monday (Dec 24) against the winners of the second seminal between defending champions Dhaka Abahani Limited and newcomers Bashundhara Kings billed for Thursday at 4:30 pm at the same venue.
In the first semifinal, Azizov put all-blue Sheikh Russel KC ahead in the dying moment of the first half (45th minute) by a right-footed volley shot from a right wing cross of Nigerian booter Raphael (1-0). Brother Union strongly protested the goal claiming an off side.
Azizov confirmed the final berth of Sheikh Russel KC after five years scoring his and team’s 2nd goal in the 51st minute, also by a right footer, utilising a low cross from Khalequzzaman (2-0).
Saiful Bari Tito’s boys played a tactical game against Mohammad Naimuddin’s Brothers Union making a series of attacks from the very beginning leaving their defensive strategy.
In the first half, Sheikh Russel KC managed some good opportunities in the 12th, 18th, 20th and 37th minutes, but failed to materialise any due to poor finishing. But after taking 2-0 lead in the 51st minute, Sheikh Russel KC adopted a complete defensive method except one or two fruitless attempts.
Sheikh Russel KC smartly qualified for the semifinals eliminating stronger Chattogram Abahani Limited by 2-0 goals in the 2nd quarterfinals. They booked a seat for last eight as the Group D runners-up with two points from two outings.
Gopibagh outfit Brothers Union booked a seat for the semifinals eliminating formidable Arambagh KS by 4-3 goals in tiebreaker after a 3-3 draw in the stipulated period of the 1st quarterfinal. Brothers Union reached quarterfinals as Group C runners-up with only two points from two matches.
Holders Dhaka Abahani Limited moved into the semifinals of the Independence Cup Football Tournament eliminating Saif Sporting Club by a solitary goal in the 3rd quarterfinals last Thursday.
With the feat, Dhaka Abahani are now poised for a 2nd major soccer title in the ongoing season after clinching Federation Cup Football crown last month.
New sensation Bashundhara Kings made a semifinal berth beating Rahmatganj MFS by 3-2 goals in tiebreaker in the 4th quarterfinal after two teams finished with 2-2 goals in the schedule time. They advanced to quarterfinal as Group D champions securing four points from two encounters.