A late-strike from Costa Rican world-cupper Daniel Colindres helped Defending Champions Bashundhara Kings to secure a 1-0 win over Bangladesh Championship League (BCL) Runners-up Uttar Baridhara Sporting Club in the opening match of the twelfth edition of Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) at the jam-packed Sheikh Kamal Stadium in Nilphamari on Thursday.
Kings Captain cum Forward Colindres netted the match-winner with a left-footed tap-in shot from the goal line in the 86th minute as Uttar Baridhara Goalkeeper Azad Hossen failed to deny a long cross from substitute forward Mahbubur Rahman Sufil (1-0).With the day’s feat, the holders Kings maintained their unbeaten for 13-league games at home with 12 wins and a draw. Kings will play against Bangladesh Police FC on February 20 at 3:30 pm at Bangabandhu National Stadium (BNS) here.
In the day’s match, Bashundhara Kings continued dominating over BCL Runners-up from the very beginning. Kings attackers made several eye-catching attempts, but Uttar Baridhara defenders successfully kept their giant opponents at bay for 86 minutes.
Colindres, Sufil and national colored Defender Topu Barman got at least seven chances, but failed to find the net under strong pressure from the Uttar Baridhara defenders.
Colindres missed five close chances in the 7th, 28th, 42nd, 82nd and 84th minutes while Topu failed to send ball home failing to utilise a close-range free-kick from Colindres in the 74th minute and Uttar Baridhara Goalkeeper Azad denied at least two long-range shots from Sufil in the 83rd minute.
On the other hand, Kings goalie Anisur Rahman Zico kept his post safe. Zico smartly saved two close-range free-kicks from Uttar Baridhara’s Gambian Forward Darboe Landing in the 41st minute and in the stoppage time (90+1 minute) and smartly fisted a long-range shot from Captain Sumon Reza in the 86th minute.
Kings were handed a blow just a minute before the full-time while their reliable Defender Yeasin Khan got the marching order as he conceded his second yellow card after conceding the first one in the first half. The 25-year-old defender will miss the next match.Kings Midfielder Md Ibrahim and Uttar Baridhara Captain Sumon Reza, Midfielder Shahidul Islam Shapon and Defender Saidul Hoque conceded one yellow card each.
Kings made two changes in the squad namely Midfielder Alamgir Kabir Rana replaced another Midfielder Emon Mahmud who got injured during the first half while Forward Mahbubur Rahman Sufil replaced Forward Md Rimon Hossain while Uttar Baridhara SC brought in two changes in the second half namely Defender Hafijur Rahman Topu replaced Defender Jintu Mia and Midfielder Noyon Mia replaced Midfielder Arif Hossen.
Kings clinched their maiden BPL crown in their first appearance in the league securing 63 points with 20 wins, 3 draws and one defeat from all 24 matches. They also clinched the title of the season’s curtain raiser 31st Federation Cup Football beating Rahmatganj Muslim Friends Society by 2-1 goals in the final in January.
On the other hand, Bangladesh Police and Uttar Baridhara got promoted to the BPL 2019-20 after emerging BCL champions and runners-up respectively. BCL runners-up returned home from Federation Cup empty-handed as they conceded defeat in all three matches of four-team Group D.