Two second-half goals from Devine and Alfaz helped Mohammedan Sporting Club emerge champions in the Nitol-Tata Fifth National Football League with a 2-0 victory over archrivals Abahani Limited in the keenly contested final at Bangabandhu National Stadium Sunday, reports BDNEWS.
Nigerian striker Devine put the Mohammedans 1-0 ahead in the 47th minute with a spectacular header following right-side cross from Alfaz, who sealed the victory in the fag end of the match with a gentle push before nearly 25 thousands strong-crowd at the big bowl to the cheers of club supporters.
President Iajuddin Ahmed witnessed the final and distributed trophies among the teams as chief guest.
Communication minister Nazmul Huda, state minister for youth and sports M Fazlur Rahman, Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) president SA Sultan MP, senior vice-president Monir Ahmed, general secretary Anwarul Haq Helal, deputy secretary Manzoor Hossain Malu, Nitol Group chairman Matlub Ahmed were, among others, also witnessed the thrilling final.
With the NFL trophy, the Mohammedans removed their crown-drought for last two seasons while any kind of trophy for Abahani remained untouchable after clinching the premier league title in 2001.
It was the second national football champions trophy for the Mohammedans after emerged champions in the second version in 2002.
After being national league champions, the Mohammedans get the gate-pass for playing the AFC Cup football tournament in March next where Brothers Union have already qualified as Federation Cup Champions.
The Motijheel outfits not only stopped the Ahabani 18-match unbeaten run, but also took a sweet revenge of 0-1 lose in the group phase tie.
Besides, the Black & White outfits outplayed the Sky Blue outfits for the first time this season's after losing four matches and drew one in six matches.
After long three years, two traditional archrivals qualified for the final and the football crazy spectators returned home with enjoying the attacking football as both the Dhaka giants showed a fair and organised game after a long.
The Mohammedans were a bit more luminous than Abahani, who were unlucky after being deprived of certain goals in the first half. Abahani dominated the last 30 minutes as the Mohammedans played a defensive mood taking the first-goal lead.
After the barren first half, man of the match Devine broke the dead lock with a spectacular header two minutes into the second half as Alfaz Ahmed put a lob to Devine from the right.
The Mohammedans struck the second goal from a counter attack in the last moment.
Alfaz sent the ball into the Abahani open net when a Devine strike came his way after denying by Abahani goalie Nizam at the top of the box.
Referee: Mansoor Asad
Yellow cards: Kamal of Mohammedans, Nizam, Ighir Mohammed and Marshal of Abahani.
Mohammedans - Biplob, Mahmudul Hasan, Peter Odaf, Nazrul, Rezaul Biplob, Munna, Devine, Arman Azizi, Kamal, Alfaz and Francis (Asad).
Abahani - Nizam, Obaidur, Prodeep, Marshal, Ndem, Ighir, Ibrahim, Wali Faisal (Lazuk), Joy, Ujjal (Tipu) and Farhad.