Bashundhara Kings clinched the Federation Cup Football crown for the second straight year, beating new finalist Saif Sporting Club 1-0 in the final on Sunday.
Argentine booter Raul Oscar Becerra scored the match-winner for Bashundhara in the 52nd minute with an angular shot, dodging past one of the opponent defenders.
State Minister for Youth and Sports Zahid Ahsan Russell witnessed the day’s final at the Bangabandhu National Stadium and handed the trophy to the champions.
The Kings’ Oscar Becerra, who was adjudged man of the final, became the highest scorer of the tournament along with Nigerian booter Kenneth Ikechukwu of Saif SC, scoring five goals each.
Kenneth was named as the best player of the tournament while Chittagong Abahani got the fair play trophy.
Star-studded Bashundhara, who made their first appearance in the country’s top-level football in 2017, clinched their fourth trophy on Sunday after winning the Premier League and Independence Cup in their first season and Federation Cup in the second and last season.
They also reached the final of the Federation Cup for three times in a row and emerged champions twice after losing the first one to Dhaka Abahani.
However, Saif Sporting staged a neck-and-neck fight against the star-studded Kings in their first Federation Cup final. They managed three good scoring chances. But the King’s custodian Anisur Rahman Zico saved his castle brilliantly.
Saif SC’s Nigerian booter Kenneth alone spoiled two good chances, depriving his side of the maiden trophy.
Earlier, Bashundhara reached the final, eliminating 11 times champions Dhaka Abahani with a 3-1 win. And Saif SC made it to their first final eliminating Chittagong Abahani 3-0.
Defending champions Bashundhara Kings and new finalist Saif Sporting will lock horns in the final of Federation Cup Football on Sunday.
The title-deciding match of the season’s curtain-raiser football competition will kick-off at 4pm at the Bangabandhu National Stadium. T Sports will telecast it live.
Bashundhara Kings are looking for their second consecutive Federation Cup crown while Saif Sporting will fight for their maiden title.
Star-studded Bashundhara reached the final, eliminating 11 times champions Dhaka Abahani with a 3-1 win. And Saif SC reached their first final eliminating Chittagong Abahani by 3-0.
Bashundhara Kings coach Oscar Bruzon said on Saturday, “Saif SC are a strong side with some quality players in the wings and attacking positions.”
“They play positive football. We know their strength and weakness and are also confident of our ability. And we will try our best to take advantage of their weakness to win the final.”
Ahead of Sunday's final, Saif SC’s Belgian coach Paul Put said, “Bashundhara Kings are a strong and compact team. We cannot compare us with them. They are used to playing in the final regularly and always compete for the title.”
“We are going to face a mighty opponent on Sunday, but I am confident that our boys are ready to give their 100% to make the final an exciting one.”
“Many people did not expect us to reach the final as our previous best achievement was making it to the quarterfinals. But this time we reached the semifinals and final after making a record.”
“Everything is possible in football, and now we have an opportunity to create history in Sunday’s match,” Paul Put said.
Inter-Base Football Competition 2021 of Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) ended in Chattogram on Thursday. Seven teams of different BAF bases took part in the competition.
BAF Base Zahurul Haque emerged champions while BAF Base Bir Sreshtho Matiur Rahman became the runners-up.
Sergeant Abdur Rauf of BAF Base Bangabandhu was adjudged the best player of the competition, Inter Services Public Relation (ISPR) Directorate said.
Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Admin) Air Vice Marshal AKM Ahsanul Hoque distributed prizes among the winners.
Also read: BAF holds air defence exercise
Earlier, Air Officer Commanding of BAF Base Zahurul Haque Air Vice Marshal ASM Fakrul Islam inaugurated the competition on January 3.
Bashundhara Kings staged a comeback in the semifinals of the Federation Cup Football on Thursday, beating eleven times champions Dhaka Abahani by 3-1 goal, to reach the final.
Star-studded Bashundhara Kings will play the final on Sunday at 4pm against Saif Sporting, who made it to their first-ever final eliminating Chittagong Abahani 3-0 in the first semifinals.
After a 1-1 draw in the 90-minute in the second semifinals at the Bangabandhu National Stadium, Argentine booter Raul Becerra put the Kings ahead in the 20th minute of the extra time (110th minute).
And Brazilian player Jonathan Fernandes sealed the fate of the match scoring his second goal in the dying moments.
Earlier, another Brazilian booter Francisco Torres, who scored the match-winner against Uttar Baridhara in the quarterfinals, put Dhaka Abahani ahead in the 31st minute (1-0).
However, Jonathan scored the equaliser for the Kings in the 51st minute (1-1).
In the extra time, Argentina’s Raul and Brazil’s Jonathan scored one goal each in only ten minutes to guide the Kings into final for the third time in a row.
Later, Jonathan Fernandes was adjudged the best player of the match.
Earlier, the match was stopped for about six minutes in the dying moments as the match referee ruled out a goal of Abahani’s Nabib Newaj Jibon for offside.
The Kings partly dominated in the early first half, but Abahani gradually took control of the match and opened the scoring with a goal in the 31st minute.
The Sky Blue Brigade maintained their dominance in the second half, too. But the Kings put extra pressure on them in the extra time to carry the day.
The referee had to show four yellow cards in the day’s tense-packed match.
Earlier, in the quarterfinals, Bashundhara Kings eliminated Sheikh Jamal with a 2-0 win while Dhaka Abahani beat Uttar Baridhara by 1-0.
Saif Sporting Club reached their first-ever Federation Cup Football final, thrashing former finalist Chittagong Abahani 3-0 in the first semifinals at the Bangabandhu National Stadium on Wednesday.
It was the biggest achievement for Saif SC in the Federation Cup Football after reaching the quarterfinals twice.
Nigerian booters Emmanual Ariwachukwu and Kenneth Ikechukwu, and Bangladesh’s Yeasin Arafat scored one goal each for Saif SC, who dominated the first half 1-0.
Saif SC will play their dream final on Sunday against the winners of defending champions Bashundhara Kings and the 11 times champions Dhaka Abahani semifinals. The match will be held on Thursday at 4pm.
Nigerian footballer Emmanual put Saif SC ahead in the ninth minute of the semifinals by a left-footed volley from a Sirajuddin free-kick.
Kenneth doubled the Saif SC margin in the 72nd minute with a right-footed side volley.
Yeasin sealed the fate of the game, scoring the third goal for Saif SC just one minute before the final whistle.
Saif SC earned the deserving victory playing a good brand of football against the 2017 finalist Chittagong Abahani.
Earlier, in the second quarterfinals last Saturday, Saif SC eliminated Dhaka Mohammedan, beating them by 7-6 in the sudden-death session of the tiebreaker.