A late 83rd minute header from national defender Nasir Uddin Chowdhury was enough to give Sheikh Jamal DC the season’s first tournament Walton Federation Cup title with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Muktijoddha SKC at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.
It was Sheikh Jamal’s second Federation Cup title in four years, despite reaching the final in every edition they have taken part in. The Dhanmondi based club finished runners-up in three professional tournaments last season, including the Federation Cup were they lost to Sheikh Russell. They bolstered their squad for this season with an eye to winning all the titles and yesterday’s victory was the first step towards that goal.
Prior to the game, Muktijoddha’s probably major concern was how to deal with the best attacking line-up in the country, especially the Haitian international Sony Norde. The eventual runners-up executed their strategy well in the game and presented a rock solid defensive display till the goal. Muktis coach Shafiqul Islam Manik brought tactical changes game with an enchanced defensive approach and gave the highest attention to containing Norde.
Norde, who scored seven goals in the tournament and scored in every match except the final, struggled to find space to move forward as he was tightly marked by right-back Saidul Hoque. Furthermore every time the Haitian got the ball, two or three players surrounded him. However, this did not stop him from creating chances for his teammates from a number of precise set pieces, one of which led to the all-important winning goal.
The attention the Muktis defenders gave Sony opened up chances for other forwards like Wedson Anselme to move more forward. Wedson initiated the first real attack of the game in the 14th minute when he unleashed an 18-yard shot after skipping past a defender, which was off target.
In the 34th minute, Sony Norde curled an accurate free kick that found Jamal defender Abdullahi inside the box. The Jamal player outmuscled his marker before heading the ball over the crossbar.
Four minutes later, Jamal had the best chance to break the deadlock but Haitian forward Wedson wasted his opportunity with a weak left-footed from inside the box. Sony delivered the through pass that split Muktis defense to find Wedson.
Muktijoddha had their first real chance 11 minutes into the second half. After a one-two with Eleta Kingsley, Biplob broke into the penalty area but his shot went straight to the keeper.
Jamal continued to attack and as the game wore on, Sony Norde started to beat off his markers. Though the former Sheikh Russell forward failed to be on target he set up the only goal of the match.
It was a perfect corner from Norde. Defender Nasir Uddin Chowdhury, who was once a striker, slid down his head to meet the ball and sent it home past the half-stretched Muktijoddha goalkeeper Rasel Mahmud Liton to seal the victory.
After emerging in the top flight football in 2010-11, it was Jamal’s third trophy overall and second Federation Cup. They have also won the premier league title.
Wesdon Anselme was adjudged the player of the final while Sony Norde was named the player of the tournament.
Sheikh Jamal DC 1-0 Muktijoddha SKC
Nasir Uddin 83”
14” Wedson receives a long cross from Mamunul, skips past a defender and unleashes a shot from the edge of the box that just goes wide.
34” Sony Norde curls a pin-point free kick that finds Jamal defender Abdullahi inside the box who outmuscles his marker and heads the ball over the crossbar.
39” Norde delivers a defense-splitting through pass for Wedson but the Haitian can only make a weak left-footed shot.
45” Muktis goalkeeper Liton denies Wedson with a brave effort in goalmouth action.
56” After one-two with Eleta Kingsley, Biplob enters the penalty area but shoots straight to the keeper.
GOAL! 83” Nasir Uddin Chowdhury seals the victory for Jamal, heading in a Sony Norde corner to send the ball past Liton.
Source: Dhaka Tribune