Saif Sporting Club has picked two experienced forwards in the Nigerian national team with high hopes. But so far they have not been able to repay that hope. The club has to rely on local players to win the match.
Rahim Uddin and Maraj Hossain, two young locals, made Saif a semi-finalist of the Federation Cup by winning the match today. The duo beat Saif 2-0 against Swadhinata Krira Sangha. Earlier, Saif had also defeated Swadhinata 2-0 in the quarter finals of the Swadhinata Cup.
The Swadhinata Krira Sangha, which emerged from the Bangladesh Championship League to become the champions in the Premier League, is being considered as a surprise this season. Despite losing 2-0 to Saif, who finished fourth in the last league, the team never felt helpless. Goalkeeper Sarwar Jahan has defended the team several times today. Saif goalkeeper Pappu Hossain did not go less.
Sarwar deprived Saif of a goal in seven minutes. Udohar shot in the first half on Sunday. He also blocked Asro’s Gafurv’s shot on the return. Saif’s obstacle side post in 17 minutes. From inside the box, Rwandan defender Emery Baising’s right-footed volley hit the post.
In the 34th minute, Saif’s striker Emeka Ogbag wasted the opportunity to score such a goal that the striker, who is playing for the Nigerian national team, could slap himself on the head. He had only the goalkeeper in front of him when he entered the box with the forgotten ball of the Freedom Defender. His shot from about 12 yards went wide of the post.
Saif went ahead with Rahim’s goal in the 42nd minute. Goalkeeper Sarwar’s gloves melted in Jamal Bhuiyan’s corner. Winger Rahim tapped into the net.
The way Maraj was playing in the match, getting his goal was a matter of time. Maraj made it 2-0 in 61 minutes. The young forward is to be commended for his perfect finish. Maraz scored the goal with a cold heading, taking control of Gafurv’s defensive pass.
Saif, the current runners-up of the tournament, will fight to reach the final on January 8. Their opponent will be the winning team between Abahani Limited and Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi to be held tomorrow.