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Kings make winning start AFC Cup 2022

  • Sports Correspondent
  • 19th May, 2022 01:10:15 AM
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Kings make winning start AFC Cup 2022

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Bashundhara Kings made a winning start in AFC Cup 2022 after beating Maldivian side Maziya Sports and Recreation Club by 1-0 goal in their first match of the four-team Group D (South Asian Zone) at Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan Stadium, commonly known as Salt Lake Stadium, in Kolkata, West Bengal on Wednesday.

Gambian forward Nuha Marong Krubally struck the match-winner for the Bangladesh Premier League champions with a header in the 33rd minute. However, the 28-year-old Gambian made his debut match in AFC Cup memorable with this exciting goal.

Apart from Nuha, Brazilian midfielder Miguel Ferreira Damasceno, forward Sumon Reza and Bangladeshi-Nigerian Eleta Kingsley also made debuts in AFC Cup. Midfielder Sohel Rana earlier played for Dhaka Abahani in AFC, but he made his debut for the Kings in this edition of the tournament.  

However, Kings appeared on the field with their best playing eleven– goalkeeper Anisur Rahman Zico; two forwards- Robson Robinho, Nuha Marong; four midfielders- Sohel Rana, Miguel Ferreira, Mohammad Ibrahim, Masuk Miah Zoni; and three defenders - Bishwanath Ghosh, Tariq Kazi, Khaled Shafiei, Yeasin Arafat.

Later, Sumon, Matin Miah, Rimon Hossain, Eleta and Biplo replaced Nuha, Ibrahim, Tariq, Miguel and Sohel. Tariq and Sohel left the field on stretchers which could be a  bad omen for Kings in the next match. 

But for now, the Bangladeshi side were sharing the top slot of the point table with I-league champions Gokulam Kerala FC after their victories on this day. Other two teams, hosts ATK Mohun Bagan and Maziya SRC yet to open account.

Gokulam Kerala FC crushed the hosts Mohun Bagan by 4-2 goals in the day’s first match at the same venue.

Slovenian forward Luka Majcen struck two goals in the 50th and 65th minutes while midfielder Rishad Pazhaya Puthanveettil and forward Jithin Madathil Subran added one each in the 57th and 89th minutes for Gokulam. Captain Pritam Kotal and forward Liston Colaco scored one each for Mohun Bagan in the 53rd and 80th minutes.

However, Kings put pressure on their Maldivian opponents from the starting of the first half. They created four close chances within 10-minute. Nuha created the first opportunity for Kings in the 4th minute, but his lower header was blocked by Maziya defenders inside the box.

Robson narrowly missed the target in the 7th minute while Miguel was smartly deflected by Maziya’s veteran Nepali goalkeeper Kiran Kumar Limbu in the 8th minute.

The BPL champions perhaps wasted their golden chance in the 11th minute while Robson’s left-footed shot was deflected hitting the far post. Ibrahim got a second chance, but his shot was also off the target. 

Nuha wasted a close chance in the 26th minute. Maziya’s Nepali goalkeeper made a perfectly timed intervention to prevent Marong from getting a shot away. But after seven minutes Nuha compensated Kings and this time he was able to beat the Nepali goalie with a long header over his head. 

After conceding the goal, the Maldivian side tried to score an equzlizer, but Kings goalkeeper Zico, defenders Khaled, Bishwanath wasted all their efforts.

In the second half, Maziya created some chances, but they failed to break Kings defense. The Bangladeshi side were able to kept their opponents at the bay until the final whistle. 

Meanwhile, Kings will play their second match against ATK Mohun Bagan FC at the same venue on May 21.