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Independence Cup Final: Dhaka Abahani clinch title after 31 years

  • Sports Correspondent
  • 18th December, 2021 10:28:01 PM
  • Print news

Dhaka Abahani Limited clinched the title of the 11th edition of the Independence Cup after they defeated Bashundhara Kings by a 3-0 margin in the final at the Bir Shrestha Shaheed Sepoy Mustofa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur on Saturday.

Abahani’s Brazilian forward Dorielton Nascimento netted a brace after their local forward Rakib Hossian scored the opening goal in the second half during the high-voltage final that confirmed their second Independence Cup title.

The last time Dhaka Abahani secured an Independence Cup title was back in 1990 when they defeated Dhaka Mohammedan by 2-1 goals to earn their maiden Independence Cup silverware. 

Dhaka Abahani were the finalists of the Independence Cup in 2016 but they ended runners-up after conceding a 0-2 goals defeat to Chittagong Abahoni Ltd.

With this defeat, Kings lost the opportunity to retain their Independence Cup title. The story of Kings began with the 10th edition of the Independence Cup in 2018 when they secured their maiden title in the top tier domestic league beating Sheikh Russel Krira Chakra by 2-1 goals in the final.

“In last three years, Dhaka Abahani didn’t win any trophy although there was a Covid year. It’s really disappointing when you ended in the second position many times or lose in the semifinals or in the final. Now, this is a big relief,” said Dhaka Abahani head coach Mario Lemos after the victory.

The injury-hit Kings side appeared on the field without their three key players – Topu Barman, Tariq Kazi and Brazilian midfielder Jonathan Fernandes.

Forward Mahbubur Rahman Sufil came in the place of Fernandes who got injured during their semifinal match against Police FC.

On the other hand, Abahani started with their best playing XI as Dorielton came in the place of their local forward Nabib Newaz Ziban in the starting XI.

Both Dhaka Abahani and Kings forwards kept the defence line-ups busy with several attacks from the start of the game. Abahani could take a lead in the sixth minute of the game but Dorielton fell in the trap of offside and his goal was disallowed.

After the barren first half, Abahani finally broke the deadlock when Rakib scored a goal from inside of the box off a pass from Brazilian captain Raphael Augusto in the 54th minute.

Nine minutes later, they got a chance to double the margin after Kings forward Rimon illegally tackled Dhaka Abahani forward Daniel Colindres inside the box.

Dorielton seized the chance and converted a spot-kick correctly in the 63rd minute.

The Brazilian forward confirmed the victory for his side by scoring his second goal after Iranian defender Milad Sheikh Soleimani headed the ball towards him off a corner from Augusto in the 72nd minute.

“We didn’t have three key players in the squad. If we had Sohel Rana, we could have had a different result,” said Kings head coach Oscar Bruzon. 

Abahani’s Dorielton was adjudged the man of the final. He also bagged the top scorer’s award with four goals while their skipper Augusto was adjudged the man of the tournament.