Dhaka, Feb 18 (UNB) – Arambagh Krira Sangha returned to winning ways following two successive defeats in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) on Monday, beating bottom-ranked novices NoFeL Sporting Club 1-0 at the latter’s home venue, the Rofiq Uddin Bhuiyan Stadium in Mymensingh.
Cameroon forward Paul Emile headed the lone goal that turned out to be the matchwinner for Maruful Haque’s Arambagh KS in the 32nd minute, utilizing Zahid Hossain’s delivery from a corner kick.
With the day’s result, Arambagh advance to 5th spot in the 13-team league, securing 12 points from seven matches while NoFeL SC (Noakhali, Feni, Laxmipur) remain glued to the bottom, still winless and a paltry 2 points to show from 6 outings. losing four matches out of six.
Defending champions Dhaka Abahani Limited topped the league table securing 18 points from seven matches while star-studded Bashundhara Kings are hot on their trail, just 3 points behind but with two games in hand (15 points from straight five matches).
In the day’s other league match, old horse Dhaka Mohammedan SC managed a valuable point after four consecutive defeats, playing out a goalless draw with Chattogram Abahani Limited at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka.
The day’s results left Chattogram Abahani tied with Arambagh, having earned 9 points from seven encounters while Mohammedan SC are closer to the bottom, having bagged only four points from six matches.
Dhaka, Feb 18 (UNB) – Defending champions Dhaka Abahani Limited took the solo lead in the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) Football outplaying Brothers Union Club by 4-0 goals at the floodlit Bangabandhu National Stadium here on Sunday.
By virtue of the day’s merited victory, the sky-blue popular Dhanmondi topped the league table securing 18 points from seven matches with six wins and a loss against star-studded Bashundhara Kings while the Kings followed the leader neck and neck securing full 15 points from straight five matches.
Gopibagh outfit Brothers Union remained at their previous credit of three points playing six matches.
In the day’s match, Abahani took lead in the 11th minute by a suicidal goal by Uttam (1-0) while Kervans Belfort doubled the Abahani margin in the 19th minute scoring his first goal (2-0).
Nigerian booter Sunday Chizoba scored the 3rd goal for Abahani in the 42nd minute while Belfort sealed the fate of the match scoring his 2nd and the 4th goal of Abahani in the 57th minute.
Earlier in the day’s first match, Sheikh Russel KC advanced to the 2nd slot in the league table after playing a goalless draw with Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club at the same venue.
Sheikh Russel KC have secured 14 points from six matches while Sheikh Jamal DC bagged 11 points from seven encounters.
Dhaka, Feb 17 (UNB)– Sheikh Russel Krira Chakra maintained their unbeaten run in the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) Football after playing out a goalless draw with Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club at the Bangabandhu National Stadium here on Sunday.
After the match, Sheikh Russel KC advanced to the 2nd slot in the league table securing 14 points from six matches while Sheikh Jamal DC bagged 11 points from seven encounters.
Newcomers Bashundhara Kings and holders Dhaka Abahani Limited shared the top slot securing 15 points each playing five and six matches respectively.
Berlin, Feb 17 (AP/UNB) — Claudio Pizarro scored in the sixth minute of injury time to salvage a 1-1 draw for Werder Bremen at Hertha Berlin and become the oldest ever goal-scorer in the Bundesliga on Saturday.
Pizarro, aged 40 years and 136 days, broke the previous record held by Bremen midfielder Miroslav "Mirko" Votava (40 years, 121 days) from 1996, when he fired his free kick through a host of Hertha legs and past the helpless Rune Jarstein in goal.
It looked like Davie Selke's first-half goal against his former side was enough for Hertha to win, but Pizarro came on as a substitute with half an hour remaining and had the final say.
The veteran Peru striker also became the first to score in 21 different calendar years in the Bundesliga with his 195th league goal.
The goal denied Hertha sixth place and kept 10th-placed Bremen one point behind the home side.
Stuttgart's hopes of a reprieve after another week of turbulence went unanswered as Leipzig won their game 3-1 to consolidate fourth place.
Danish forward Yussuf Poulsen scored twice to help Leipzig move one point below Borussia Moenchengladbach and stay six clear of Wolfsburg, which defeated Mainz 2-0 at home.
Stuttgart sought its first win in seven games to ease the pressure on coach Markus Weinzierl. Weinzierl kept his job after last weekend's 3-0 loss at Fortuna Duesseldorf, but sporting director Michael Reschke was told to go on Tuesday.
Former Aston Villa and Germany midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger, who helped Stuttgart win the Bundesliga in 2007, was appointed in Reschke's place.
Stuttgart had the worst defense in the league (47 goals conceded), in contrast to Leipzig (18), which duly scored with the game's first attack in the sixth minute when Yussuf Poulsen took advantage of some lax defending to score from close range.
But Steven Zuber equalized from the penalty spot 10 minutes later after the video referee intervened when Leipzig captain Willi Orban appeared to push Mario Gomez and deflect the ball out of play with his hand.
The home side pushed for more — Leipzig 'keeper Peter Gulacsi made a great save to deny Santiago Ascacibar in the second half — before Marcel Sabitzer restored the visitors' lead from a free kick in the 68th.
Midfielder Tyler Adams then won a challenge before setting Poulsen through to seal it in the 74th. It was Adams' first assist in his fourth game since his winter transfer from the New York Red Bulls.
Schalke, which hosts Manchester City in the Champions League on Wednesday, was held at home by Freiburg to 0-0.
Schalke midfielder Suat Serdar was shown a straight red card minutes before the break for a studs-up lunge at Freiburg captain Mike Frantz, who needed treatment.
Both sides finished with 10 men after Freiburg's Christian Guenter was shown his second yellow card in injury time for colliding with Mark Uth.
Hoffenheim defeated Hannover 3-0, though the home side should have won by more.
Barcelona, Feb 17 (AP/UNB) — Lionel Messi had a penalty saved after scoring from the spot as Barcelona struggled to end a run of poor results before it turns to the Champions League knockout rounds.
Messi's first penalty opportunity proved good enough in an uninspiring 1-0 victory over Valladolid at Camp Nou in the Spanish league on Saturday. But Barcelona's all-time leading scorer had a second spot kick stopped by goalie Jordi Masip.
Barcelona, which had drawn three games in a row across all competitions, visits Lyon on Tuesday in the opening leg of their Champions League round-of-16 tie.
Messi and his teammates missed chances to put away Valladolid, and when they did arrive Masip was up to the challenge.
Messi beat Masip with a perfectly executed spot kick two minutes before halftime. But Masip, a former Barcelona backup, smothered his second strike that Messi sent to the same left side of the goalie.
Masip said he didn't learn any tricks to stopping Messi when they used to practice together.
"I don't know, I (never saved) many of his penalties," Masip said. "He took the first one very well, but I was able to stop the second one. It is bittersweet. We had the chance to take a draw."
Barcelona increased its league lead to seven points over Atletico, which moved past Real Madrid into second place before its crosstown rival plays on Sunday.
Atletico's 1-0 win at Rayo Vallecano thanks to a late goal by Antoine Griezmann broke a run of consecutive losses before Atletico hosts Juventus on Wednesday in the Champions League.
Messi took his league-leading tally to 22 goals with his 30th in all competitions this season.
Otherwise, it was a night of missed chances and erred passes by Barcelona.
"We didn't play well. Getting back to winning is of course positive, but if we don't correct our mistakes we will pay for it on Tuesday," said Gerard Pique, who sustained Barcelona in defense and earned the penalty that Messi did convert two minutes before halftime.
"If we don't play the ball quickly and have more possession (...) we become a weaker team. We know it and our opponents know it."
Coach Ernesto Valverde gave Kevin-Prince Boateng his second start since joining Barcelona last month as Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho rested until midway through the second half.
Besides saving Messi's spot kick, Masip also made an excellent one-handed save to parry a Messi volley, and denied Suarez one-on-one.
"We had the chance with the second penalty to put it away, but Masip played superbly and we had to sweat it out until the end," Valverde said. "We needed to pass the ball more quickly in the first half. But if we generate the scoring opportunities like we had in the second half they will eventually go in."
GRIEZMANN GETS WIN
Griezmann's late goal was about all Atletico could muster in attack to edge crosstown minnow Vallecano.
Diego Costa played the final half hour for Atletico in his first action since recovering from a left-foot injury that required surgery in December.
Atletico, runner-up in the Champions League in 2014 and 2016, is eager to reach the June 1 final hosted at its home stadium, the Wanda Metropolitano.
But Cristiano Ronaldo's Juventus is standing in the way.
"It was fundamental to win here," said Morata, who used to play for Juventus and helped it reach the 2015 Champions League final. "Now Wednesday's match is almost here and nothing else matters, because the Champions League trumps all the rest."
Levante won at Celta Vigo 4-1 and piled pressure on coach Miguel Cardoso. Celta has lost seven of its last eight games to leave it one point above the relegation zone.
Real Sociedad eased past Leganes 3-0 at home.