Bangladesh Premier League champions Bashundhara Kings made a winning start in the ongoing AFC Cup 2021 as they crushed Maldivian side Maziya Sports & Recreation by 2-0 goals in the second match of Group D at the National Football Stadium in Male Wednesday night.
Maziya SRC captain cum defender Mohamed Irufan netted an own goal that helped Kings to take a 1-0 lead in the 25th minute and Brazilian forward Robson Da Silva Robinho netted the match-winner in the 40th minute.
However, Kings appeared on the field with the best playing eleven including goalkeeper Anisur Rahman Zico, four defenders -- Topu Barman, Bishwanath Ghosh, Tariq Raihan Kazi, Khaled Shaifiei; three midfielders -- Masuk Miah Zoni, Jonathan Fernandes, Biplo Ahmed and three forwards -- Raul Oscar Becerra, Robson Da Silva Robinho, Mahbubur Rahman Sufil.
Maziya came with goalkeeper Mamatkhonov Mirzokhid; four defenders -- Hassan Shifaz, Jesus Blanco, Ahmed Abdulla, Mohamed Irufaan; three midfielders -- Takashi Odawara, Hussain Nihan, Aisam Ibrahim and three forwards -- Hamza Mohamed, Niaz Hassan and Cornelius Ezekiel Stewart.
In the day’s match, the home side Maziya made first attempt in the 4th minute. Their Caribbean midfielder Cornelius shot from the left side of the box with a left-footer, but Kings Iranian midfielder Khaled Saifei saved the ball.
Kings created a chance from counter-attack in the 5th minute, but a right footed shot from outside the box by Robinho was saved by Maziya defenders.
After the 10th minute of the match, the Bangladeshi team started to put pressure on their opponents. Khaled, Topu Barman, Brazilian midfielder Jonathan and midfielder Biplo Ahmed made four close attempts inside the box in the 13th, 14th, 22nd and 24th minutes respectively.
In the meantime, the Maldivian side also produced some close chances but thanked to Khaled who wasted all their efforts and kept the post unbeaten.
Kings took the full control of the game while Latin magician Robinho doubled the margin with a right footed shot from the right side of the box to the bottom right corner in the 40th minute (2-0).
Kings got two more close chances before the half time, but Argentine forward Raul Becerra, who was just recovered from injury and Jonathan narrowly missed the target in the 42nd and 44th minutes.
After halftime, Kings took full control of the match and continued their domination over Maziya with several attempts. Raul, Bishwanath Ghosh and Khaled produced some close chances throughout the second half, but failed to extend the margin.
The win gave the BPL champions an advantage in the race to win a place for the Inter-Zone semi-final while the Maldivian side will have to bounce back quickly if they are to keep their hopes alive.