Sheikh Russel Krira Chakra Ltd confirmed their place in the final of the ongoing 12th Independence Cup after they defeated reigning champions Dhaka Abahani Ltd by 3-2 goals in the first semifinal at the Bir Shrestha Flight Lieutenant Matiur Rahman Stadium in Munshiganj on Wednesday.
Sheikh Russel’s Ivorian midfielder Kephi Jean Charles Didier Brossou gave his side the lead in the 31st minute before their Nigerian forward Mfon Sunday Udoh made it 2-0 in the 54th minute. Dhaka Abahani’s Nigerian forward Peter Nworah scored for his side in the 64th minute to give a hint of their coming back into the match but Sheikh Russel’s Uzbek defender Timur Talipov scored one in the 72nd minute to all but confirm their victory.
“We have been playing as per the plan; now just eyeing the title, not about our opponents in the final,” Sheikh Russel head coach Zulfiker Mahmud Mintu told the reporters after the day’s match. Sheikh Russel KC earlier clinched the title of this prestigious domestic football competition in 2013 by beating Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club.
The giants entered into the final again in 2018 but they had to concede a 1-2 goals defeat to another prominent outfit Bashundhara Kings. Meanwhile, Kings will take on Bangladesh Police Football Club in the second semifinal at the Sheikh Fazlul Haque Mani Stadium in Gopalganj.
Kings, which emerged as Group B champions with an all-win record, defeated Mohammedan SC by 2-0 goals in their quarterfinal match while Police FC defeated Muktijoddha SKC by 5-4 goals in another exciting quarterfinal match.