Coming from 0-1 goal behind, Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) champions Bashundhara Kings kept their knockout dream alive in the ongoing AFC Cup 2023-24 after beating Maziya Sports and Recreation Club of Maldives by 2-1 goals in their second-leg match of the Group D at the Bashundhara Kings Arena here today.
Uzbek defender Boburbek Yuldashov and Brazilian midfielder Miguel Figueira scored one goal each for the hosts within a span of eight minutes in the second half (80th and 88th minutes) after Ghanaian midfielder Regan Obeng handed over an early lead to the visitors in the 11th minute.
“We were confident about the team, players and plan. We knew that they would come back in the match. It is a vital win for us, it will boost up the team's confidence before the last group match against Odisha FC,” said Kings president Imrul Hasan in his reaction after the match.
The win helped the BPL champions to continue their domination in the four-team point table with 10 points from three wins, one draw and one defeat while the Maldivian side almost eliminated from the event with 3 points from one win and four consecutive defeats.
Among the other two teams, Mohun Bagan Super Giant are second with 7 points from two wins, one draw, one defeat and Indian Super Cup champions Odisha Football Club are third with six points from two wins, two defeats.
Mohun Bagan and Odhisha were playing their second match on the same day at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata, but their match was going on while this report was written.
“Thanks to the home crowd because they helped us to come back in the match. In our five game (in the ongoing AFC Cup) we always conceded the first goal, and then we needed to change our initial plan to come back in the match. But we have to change it, because we can’t always concede the first goal,” said Kings Kings Spanish head coach Oscar Bruzon.
Also, Kings, who lost their first-leg match against the Maldivian side by 1-3 goals in Male in September, were determined to win this match to maintain their domination in the point table as well as to extend their unbeaten run at their home.
Miguel – who earlier scored an equalizer against Indian Super League champions Mohun Bagan Super Giant in their previous match at the same venue – scored the match winner with a long range left-footer shot from almost 30 yards outside of the box to the top right corner, off a cross from his compatriot forward Dorielton.
Boburbek earlier ruined Maziya’s Ghanaian midfielder Regan Obeng’s lead with his maiden goal for the Bangladeshi side utilizing a header from the right side of the box to the high center of the goal, off a corner from substitute midfielder Shekh Morsalin in the 80th minute.
“I’m very happy because my contribution (goal) helped the team to get a positive result … The team’s effort, confidence and spirit helped us to make a comeback in the match,” said Miguel.
Meanwhile, Kings will next play Odisha FC in their last group match on December 11 at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar.
BDST: 2158 HRS, NOV 27, 2023