On Friday, the opening competition of the new season got off, and title contenders Abahani got their Independence Cup campaign off to a strong start by claiming victory.
In a match that took place in Gopalganj and was part of Group B, the two-time defending champions defeated Bangladesh Air Force FT by a score of 2-0 thanks to goals scored by Nabib Newaj Jibon and Rabiul Hasan.
Bangladesh Police FC also recorded a 2-0 victory over Brothers Union in Munshiganj on the opening day of the tournament. Meanwhile, Rahmatganj MFS played former champions Sheikh Russel to a goalless draw at the Bashundhara Kings Arena in Dhaka. Both of these matches took place on the opening day of the tournament. Because of this later outcome, Abahani are currently in first place in Group B.
At Sheikh Fazlul Haque Moni Stadium, Abahani entered the field on the back of one week and could field a solitary foreign player in the Iranian defence Milad Sheikh Soleimani since their other international signings are yet to arrive in the country, stated Abahani manager Nazrul Islam. Abahani entered the field on the back of one week and could field a solitary foreign player in the Iranian defender Milad Sheikh Soleimani. The Sky Blues, on the other hand, were able to breeze past their competitors without breaking a sweat.
It did not take Andres Cruciani’s charges very long to break the impasse that had been established. After Air Force goalkeeper Monju Mia took down forward Enamul Islam Gazi inside the box in the sixth minute, and after a delay of five minutes centred on the decision, Nabib converted the penalty kick from the spot. Enamul Islam Gazi had been in the box.
The national winger Rabiul scored for Abahani in the 36th minute, blasting a powerful effort from outside the penalty area into the back of the net to give his team a two-goal advantage before the break.
Former giants Brothers Union kicked off their return to top-flight football action after two off seasons with a loss at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Flight Lt Matiur Rahman Stadium. Police FC, who advanced to the semifinals of the previous edition, could not allow the Gopibag-based team to pull off an upset against them in the Group A matchup.
Both the Kyrgyz forward Manas Karipov and the Colombian Edis Horacio Carcia were instrumental in the victory for the Police, as they assisted each other in scoring a goal on either side of the halftime break. The success was a product of their teamwork.
Karipov scored the game-winning goal in the 23rd minute after Garcia made a run from the left side of the field into the six-yard box before delivering a low cross to Karipov. Karipov simply needed to put the ball in the back of the net because Brothers goalie Raghu was alone in the near post. Following a corner kick in the 67th minute of the second half, Garcia scored a goal that virtually ended the contest.