Newcomers Saif Sporting Club returned to winning ways in the Bangladesh Premier League with a 2-0 victory over Muktijoddha Sangsad at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.
English striker Charles Edward Sheringham and substitute Matin Mia scored one each in the second half to give Saif SC a crucial win after two successive draws against lightweights Farashganj and Arambagh.
An eighth win from 15 matches helped Saif SC to 30 points, six points behind leaders Chittagong Abahani while Muktijoddha, with 11 defeats, remained 11th with only eight points from 15 matches.
Saif SC began ordinarily and that saw the ball end up in the back of their net in the 32nd minute but they were bailed out by referee Jalaluddin, who cancelled Nigerian Maglan Awala's strike due to a foul on the Saif SC goalkeeper.
However, Saif started the second half impressively and took the lead just two minutes in after an incisive counter attack, from which point they dominated. Sheringham controlled a clearance from the goalkeeper, shrugged off his two markers and darted into the box before firing a low shot past goalkeeper Azad Hossain, who five minutes later defined Jewel Rana after Wedson Anselme had rattled the crossbar.
Mukitjoddha Sangsad mounted two late attacks in the dying moments as they pressed for an equaliser but fit-again Towhidur Rahman squandered both chances before substitute Matin Mia wrapped up Saif SC's victory in stoppage time with a solo effort.
He received the ball in his own half and ran straight down the middle through the defence before dancing past the goalkeeper and coolly slotting home to ensure the three points.
In the day's second match, Arambagh and Brothers Union shared honours after playing out an exciting 1-1 draw under floodlights. The result saw Arambagh and Brothers at eighth and ninth position with 15 and 14 points from 15 matches respectively.
Both teams came into the match on the back of impressive performances in their last three matches, both securing seven points from the fixtures, and they fought neck-and-neck till the final whistle.
After a barren first half, Arambagh took the lead in the 49th minute when Rajon Mia played a one-two with Sohel Rana, recieving the ball in the box and driving home.
That spurred Brothers, who put immense pressure and finally equalised seven minutes from time with Congolese Zunapio side-volleying a Enamul Haq corner home inside the box.