Defending champions Dhaka Abahani Limited got off to a flying start in the 31st TVS Federation Cup Football Tournament crushing newcomers Bangladesh Police FC by 4-0 goals in the opening match at Bangabandhu National Stadium here on Wednesday.
Haitian forward Kervens Belfort Fills netted twice, Abahani captain-cum-national forward Nabib Newaz Ziban and Nigerian striker Sunday Chizoba Nwadialu netted one goal each for the popular sky-blue Dhanmondi outfit.
Earlier, Minister for Liberation War Affairs AKM Mozammel Haque inaugurated the season’s curtain raiser soccer meet as the chief guest.
In the match, 11-time Fed Cup champions Dhaka Abahani continued their domination over newcomers Bangladesh Police FC from the very beginning.
Holders Abahani made several eye-catching attempts but Police FC goalkeeper Arifuzzaman Himel thwarted all of their efforts.
In the 4th minute, Police goalkeeper Himel smartly denied a close-range shot of Ziban, taken from outside the box.
Abahani got another chance in the 9th minute, but Himel again foiled the attempt. Goalkeeper Himel saved two close-range headers from Abahani’s Brazilian defender Mailson Alves Veriato and Sunday Chizoba.
Kervens Belfort finally broke the deadlock for the Dhanmondi outfit, netting the ball with a close-range header from inside the box, utilising a free kick from Kyrgyz midfielder Edgar Bernhardt in the 28th minute (1-0).
Just after three minutes, Ziban doubled the margin for Abahani, tapping the ball home from a goal mouth melee, off a long throw taken by defender Rayhan Hasan in the 31st minute (2-0).
Abahani continued their attacking football and bagged another success in the 43rd minute.
Sunday scored the 3rd goal for the defending champions, utilising a short pass of Belfort off a cross from midfielder Sohel Rana (3-0).
After half-time, Bangladesh Police came alive but their efforts went in vain due to lack of good finishing.
Abahani got another chance to widen their margin in the 70th minute when referee Mizanur Rahman whistled for a penalty due to handball. Police FC defenders illegally tried to deny a long throw-in from Abahani’s Rayhan Hasan inside the box.
Kervens Belfort took the chance and sealed the fate of the match soring the 2nd and the 4th goal for Abahani, converting the penalty kick correctly (4-0).
Dhaka Abahani could widen their margin but they missed two more close chances in a span of five minutes.
Ziban missed the first chance when forward Saad Uddin sent the ball to him from outside the box in the 85th minute and Saad Uddin missed the 2nd one in the 90th minute.
The popular sky-blue Dhanmondi outfit, Abahani, which were placed in Group A with Arambagh Krira Sangha and Bangladesh Police FC, will play their 2nd and last group match against Arambagh KS on December 24 at 4pm at the same venue.
Federation Cup Football is a qualifying tournament for AFC Cup Football. The champion team of the Federation Cup will get spot in the preliminary round-2 of the South Asia Zone Play-offs of AFC Cup.
Dhaka Abahani Ltd: Shahidul Alam Sohel, Waly Faisal, Tutul Hossain Badsha, Rayhan Hasan, Nabib Newaz Ziban, Sohel Rana, Sunday Chizoba, Saad Uddin, Edgar Bernhardt, Mailson Alves Veriato and Kervens Belfort.
Bangladesh Police FC: Arifuzzaman Himel, Arif Khan Joy, Khan Md Tara, Nazmul Islam Rasel, Laskov Rotkovic, Rivera Sidney Adam, Md Isa Faysal, Artur Muladzhanov, MS Bablu, Md Swadin and Aider Mambetaliev.
Referee: Mizanur Rahman.