POST TIME: 8 March, 2018 01:30:55 AM
Radiant deal a big blow to Abahani
Sports Reporter

Radiant deal a big blow to Abahani

Maldives’ New Radiant Club players celebrate after scoring the match winning goal against Abahani Limited in the first-leg match of the AFC Cup qualifying round at Bangabandhu National Stadium in the capital yesterday. BFF Photo

Abahani saw a big blow in the opening match at their home ground in the AFC Cup when they suffered a solitary goal defeat to the visitors New Radiant Sporting Club of Maldives with one of the vital players of home team got marching order yesterday at the Bangabandhu National Stadium.

Ali Fasir, the best performer of the match struck the all important goal for New Radiant Sporting Club early in the early hour of the second half of the match.  

In a slow starter match Abahani were better in the early exchanges most of the first half and were on course up to early stage of the second half. But lacked a spark they were also lacked precision in their ball distribution and set pieces, as none of their attacks could steps forward to danger area when the players’ movements also looked a bit slow.

The Bangladesh champions were first to open a golden opportunity to take lead on 27th minute when Sunday Chizoba breaking the defense line went into danger area with the ball and despite found the open space could not keep his cool when the Nigerian took a sky-high shot rather than into an open net.

Abahani had to pay for it very costly when they conceded a goal and Sunday left the ground after heaving red card.       

Abahani, failing to take lead, plunged into an enormous trouble and were about to concede goals but the best of luck two consecutive chances were saved at the last moment.

The first one was on 39th minute and this time from a counter attack Ali Fasir switched left to right in the danger zone and from a scramble inside the area his effort was rolling towards the post after hitting goalkeeper Sohel and just before crossing the goal-line Saad Uddin made a tremendous save.

But the ball was not fully clear as the Radiant again got the possession and their Spanish forward Guillem Marti’s went one on one situation with goalkeeper Sohel but the keeper timely advanced to deny Guillem just few yards away from the post on 40th.     

After the goalless first half, Abahani again created a good chance to go ahead early in the second half but Sunday again failed to keep his cool to keep his header into net when the ball went out kissing the cross piece on 49th minute. The visitors surviving from scares looked gradually coming out from their counter attack strategy with working with left wing and built up the first attack and made a successful finish when Ali Fasir beat defender Nasir Uddin and finally goalkeeper Sohel with an angular shot into far post on 58th minute (1-0).

Abahani saw another big blow after being reduced into 10-man when their vital performer Sunday Chizoba left the ground after having marching order when the Nigerian forward saw the second yellow after the first one on 30th.

Abahani, after being reduced into ten-man was survived from conceding another goal when goalkeeper left the post wide open came on the top of the box to clear a ball but Mohamed Umar volleyed into empty net and Alison Uduka just saved it from the goal-line.

The Sky-Blue went very closer at least to draw the match at home ground when in the last few minutes they put Radiant into huge pressure and also earned three corners in the last four minutes injury period but could not turn any of those into goal and had to leave the ground with the home defeat.  

Abahani will play their second match at away ground against the Bengaluru on March 14.