Having survived multiple scares from the opposition, Sheikh Jamal DC notched a 3-0 win over Mohammedan SC in their crucial Bangladesh Premier League encounter at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.
Solomon King, Raphael Odoyin and Zahed Parvez scored one goal apiece in the one-sided affair, which helped Sheikh Jamal maintain their position on the table at second with 27 points from 12 matches. The three-time champions are now just two points behind leaders Chittagong Abahani while Mohammedan remained at fifth position on 17.
Mohammedan came into the match on the back of a six-match unbeaten streak, including three consecutive wins, and the Black and Whites showed signs of extending that record especially with the way they dominated the first half-hour. Nevertheless they failed to find the target before eventually conceding the lead, against the run of play, six minutes from half-time.
During a counter-attack, the Mohammedan backline was exposed when goalkeeper Rasel Mahmud Liton and defender Asaduzzaman Bablo made the mistake of trying to control the ball mid-air but Sheikh Jamal's Raphael scrapped the opportunity in the 30th minute as he headed the ball wide of the open net.
Sheikh Jamal broke the deadlock in the 39th minute by exploiting the lacklustre Mohammedan defence. Javed Khan drove a low shot to the far post from inside the box which was parried by goalkeeper Liton but the unmarked Solomon followed through with a tap in to the near post.
After the break, Sheikh Jamal looked more confident as they dominated the midfield to add the other two goals within three minutes. In the 49th minute, Liton did well to tip a curling free-kick effort from Zahed Parvez but could not prevent the glancing header off Raphael from a Zahed corner that followed. Zahed closed out the scoring in the 52nd minute when he made the margin 3-0 with a diving header after connecting to a low cutback from Solomon.
Mohammedan coach Rashed Pappu then brought on new-signing Augustin Walson in place of Kingsley and sent on another midfielder in Monir to reduce the damage. However, the pair were unable to pose any kind of threat save one move from Walson, where he rattled the crossbar in the 80th minute, and so the team's unbeaten run came to an end at the hands of Sheikh Jamal, who previously beat Mohammedan 2-0 in the first-leg as well.
Meanwhile in the day's second match, Brothers Union salvaged a 1-1 draw with Team BJMC. Brothers forward Siyo Zunapio cancelled out a 41st minute strike from Al Mamun in the 77th minute with a header. Both BJMC and Brothers remain in their previous positions at seventh and eleventh with 16 and seven points respectively.