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Saif, Army confirm quarters; Mohammedan eliminated

  • Sports Correspondent
  • 7 December, 2021 12:00 AM
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Saif, Army confirm quarters; Mohammedan eliminated
Players of Bangladesh Army Football Team and Muktijoddha Sangsad Krira Chakra vie for the ball during their Independence Cup match on Monday. – BFF PHOTO

Federation Cup runners-up Saif Sporting Club and Bangladesh Army Football Team reached the quarterfinals of the ongoing Independence Cup at the Bir Sherestha Shaheed Sepoy Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur on Monday as they emerged as the champions and runners-up of the four-team Group C.

National Captain Jamal Bhuyan led-Saif earned 7 points from two wins and one draw while the newcomers Army earned 4 points from one win, one draw and one defeat.

Dhaka Mohammedan Sporting Club Limited also earned 4 points from one win, one draw and one defeat.

Despite having the same points (4) and same goal difference (0), Army qualified to the knockout phase due to the head-to-head rule as per the bylaws. Army beat Mohammedan by 2-1 goals in their group match (head-to-head).

Another team, Muktijoddha Sangsad Krira Chakra were also eliminated from this group with one point from one draw and two defeats.   

Army secured their place in the knockout phase after playing a 1-1 draw with Muktijoddha. If Army lost the match, Mohammedan could qualify for the quarterfinals.

However, Muktijoddha’s Egyptian forward Ahmed Ayman Shamsaodin Abdalazem took a 1-0 lead for his side in the 8th minute, but just two minutes before the stipulated 90-minute Army’s midfielder Samimul Haque levelled the margin with a header in the 88th minute of the game.

 But Army got the blow in the added time while their defender Mahbub Alam got the marching order conceding his second yellow card of the match.  

The draw of the first match affected the points table. Mohammedan, who had 3 points from one win against Muktijoddha by 2-1 goals, had no option except to earn a win against Saif to qualify for the knockout. But their match ended in a 1-1 at the same venue.

Saif, who earlier brightened their chances for knockout beating Army and Muktijoddha by 2-1 and 3-2 goals, just needed a draw to secure the top place of the points table.

However, Nigerian forward Mfon Sunday Udoh took a 1-0 lead for Saif in the 45th minute while defender Rajib Hossain levelled the margin 1-1 for the traditional black and white in the added time (90+1 minute).