The top Bangladeshi outfit Bashundhara Kings created a new history in the country’s domestic football by clinching the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) title for the third time in a row on Monday.
The Kings, who started their journey in 2017, have won the country’s all major domestic titles in the last five years.
However, this BPL was important for the Kings as it was their first domestic title of this ongoing season. They earlier failed to retain two other major titles -- Independence Cup and Federation Cup.
The title will also provide the Kings with a ticket to directly enter the group stage of next AFC Cup and AFC Champions League play-offs.
The Kings became hat-trick champions defeating Saif Sporting Club by 2-0 goals with two matches to spare in their 20th match of the ongoing league at the crowded Bir Flight Lieutenant Matiur Rahman Stadium in Munshiganj.
Midfielder Matin Miah and substitute midfielder Biplo Ahmed scored one each for the champions in the 28th and 81st minutes of the game.
With the day’s victory, the Kings collected a total of 51 points from 16 wins, 3 draws and one defeat. They now have a 10-point lead over their nearest opponents Dhaka Abahani Ltd.
The Kings appeared on the field to play the crucial match without their Brazilian captain-cum-forward Robson Azevedo Da Silva. Roboson missed the match due to a muscle injury.
But, the Bangladeshi giants were confident enough of showing their best performance in the match. Forward Tawhidul Alam Sabuz led the team in the place of Robson.
The Kings appeared with goalkeeper Zico, three defenders– Yeasin, Tariq Kazi, Bishwanath; three forwards – Rimon, Sabuz, Nuha and four midfielders – Fahad, Miguel, Matin and Sohel.
The hosts Saif got the first chance to open their account in the 17th minute, but the Kings’ goalie Zico smartly denied their efforts. On the other hand, the Kings wasted two chances within a span of five minutes.
Miguel wasted the first chance in the 23rd minute when his long range shot from nearer the box was deflected by hitting the bar and Nuha missed the second chance as his weaker grounder was blocked by Saif goalie Pappu Hossain in the 27th minute.
The Kings got a relief when Matin handed them a 1-0 lead with an eye-catching right right-footed, off a cross from Miguel.
But, the giants received a big blow when they were reduced to 10-man. Defender Yeasin Arafat got the marching order conceding the second yellow card when he illegally fouled Saif defender Rahim Uddin in the 37th minute.
The defender conceded his first yellow card in the 9th minute of the match. However, the match saw Kings’ Sabuz, Rimon and Saif’s Rahim Uddin, Abid Ahmed and Mfon Udoh conceding yellow cards.
Despite having a 10-man team, the Kings gave no chance to the hosts to dominate in their half. The credit went to Zico and defenders who successfully maintained their lead for the next 53 minutes.
Besides this, Saif tried to press hard on the touring side in the second half but failed to level the goal line.
The Kings finally sealed the fate of the match when substitute midfielder Biplo scored with a powerful left-footed shot inside the box in the 81st minute (2-0).
Biplo came in the place of Matin. Apart from him, Iranian defender Khaled, who was not present in the playing eleven, came in the place of Sabuz.
Meanwhile, Kings will play their next match against Dhaka Abahani Ltd which is likely to be held at the Bashundhara Sports Complex in the capital next week.