Looking back at the final of Federation Cup 2018 where Dhaka Abahani players’ aggression against Bashundhara Kings gave birth to the new El Classico of Bangladesh, despite that clash being an unfortunate event, it also might have been a blessing in disguise for Bangladesh football. It finally gave rise to the new domestic derby, now in place of Mohammedan Sporting Club, Bashundhara Kings fight for the glory against Dhaka Abahani.
But despite being the heavyweights, the traditional outfit could not match up to the might of newcomers Bashundhara Kings. The men from the north downed Abahani in both home and away encounter of the league. Bashundhara’s 1-0 goal triumph against Abahani in their away encounter at Bangabandhu National Stadium in the capital on Monday was of major importance for two basic reasons.The first one is quite predictable as winning the derby had some incomparable satisfaction on offer for Bashundhara Kings. But as the round-robin format of the meet emerges as the kingmaker, one has to shift the focus to the league table. This match was of paramount importance for both top-placed Bashundhara Kings and second placed Dhaka Abahani to establish and cement their supremacy in the league table. Dhaka Abahani have won all the matches they have played in the league except for the two they played against Bashundhara Kings. On the other hand, Bashundhara Kings have won all the matches they have played in the league except for their draw against Rahmatganj Muslim Friends Society. With Bashundhara Kings winning both the home and away encounter against arch-rivals Dhaka Abahani, they went 7 points clear of Dhaka Abahani who are trailing behind with 33 points to their name.
Considering the fact that both the teams faced each other for the last time in the ongoing league on Sunday, the 1-0 win might turn out to be the title deciding encounter of the league.
Bashundhara Kings ace midfielder Emon Mahmud also felt that their win against Abahani will give them a huge boost as they can sprint past the traditional outfit in the race for the ultimate glory.
“We were really good yesterday (Sunday). This match was very important for us and we handled the pressure beautifully. The win against Abahani might decide who will clinch the title,” said Emon.
The derby had its fair share of passion as the match heated up over a foul by Abahani on the 38th minute. Referee decided to award a free-kick to Bashundhara Kings but Abahani foreign recruits Kervens Belfort started getting too aggressive with Bashundhara World Cupper Daniel Colindres. Both the sides deescalated the tension and made way for the free-kick.
Emon cautiously looked to avoid commenting on the whole event considering the acrimonious nature of the rivalry between the sides and any comment can come back to haunt him.“What happened on the day was unfortunate. Competition is always good for the sport but the limit should not be crossed as the sport mandates a code of conduct,” said Babu.
Nonetheless, for Bashundhara Kings the win paved the way for a smooth ascension to the crown of the league. With ten rounds to go in the league, Bashundhara Kings will look to hold on to their momentum and smash the record books in their conquest for BPL glory.