Mohammedan win Federation Cup title after fourteen years

Mohammedan Sporting Club finally broke the jinx as they won the title of Federation Cup Football after a prolong fourteen year beating their arch-rival Abahani Limited by 4-2 goals in penalty shoot out in the nerve-wrecking final held today (Tuesday) at Shaheed Dhirendranath Datta Stadium in Cumilla.

The match rolled into a tie breaker after the regulation and extra time ended 4-4 draw.

In the shootout, Mohammedan missed one out of five shots while Abahani missed two of their first four shots. Mohamedan’s substitute custodian Bipu saved two attempts of Abahani.

Thanks to Mohammedan captain Souleymane Diabate, who led Mohammedan from the front, with his timely hat-trick that helped Mohammedan to end their title drought since after winning the Independence Cup title in 2014.

Mohammedan won the maiden champions of this tournament which started in 1980. The black and white team won Federation Cup title jointly with the Brothers Union. The foreign player of the team, who became the joint champions in the first season, made a special history today. No footballer has scored four goals in the Federation Cup final. Diyabate made a rare record in this 43-year-old tournament.

The today’s exciting final has drawn the attention of football fans, especially those who remember the golden days of the Mohammedan-Abahani rivalry, and football lovers headed to Cumilla to enjoy the flavour of Mohammedan-Abahani’s much anticipated grudge match.

Playing attacking football from the start, Abahani finished the first half in a very advantageous position taking a 2-0 goal lead.

In the 16th minute, young forward Faisal Ahmed Fahim opened an account scoring the first goal for Abahani Limited with a left footer placing shot off a pass from Emeka.

Having conceded an early goal, Mohammedan were desperate to get back into the match, but they conceded the second goal in the 44th minute. This time, Abahani’s Costa Rican forward Daniel Colindres, penetrated Mohammedan’s net with a fierce shot off a long pass from Riday.

After the resumption, the scenario of the second half changed dramatically when Mohammedan’s Souleymane Diabate scored two goals in a span of four minutes.

He scored the first goal in the 56th minute with a placing shot from the vantage position giving no chance to Abahani’s custodian Shahidul Alam Sohel and he leveled the margin scoring his second goal in the 60th minute of the match, rejuvenating giving life into the final in front of a cheerful crowd.

Abahani took the lead again when Nigerian Nigerian forward Emeka Ogbugh scored the third goal for Abahani in the 65th minute.

However, Mohammedan equalized again in the 83rd minute with Diabate completed his hat-trick goal with a superb header from the close range after utilizing a corner from left flank as the regulation time ended 3-3 goal draw.

Mohammedan took the lead in the added time of first half of the extra time. This time again Suleiman Diabate. Referee awarded the spot kick in favor of Mohammedan as Abahani’s custodian Sohel fouled Diabate in the danger zone and referee soon pointed the sport kick. The Mohammedan captain made no mistake to convert the spot kick giving his team lead for the first time in the match.

Abahani however leveled the margin, courtesy of Rahmat Miya’s goal, in the 117th minute of the extra time, which eventually led the final match in to tie breaker to decide the title.

In the last time, the two teams met in the Federation Cup final in 2009.  Mohammedan emerged victorious with a 4-1 win in a penalty shootout on that final. After that final, there have been eleven Federation Cups in fourteen years with Abahani reached the final five times and emerged champions in all occasions. Mohammedan never reached final of the Federation Cup after 2009. -BSS

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