Abahani midfielder Mamun performs a back flip after scoring his side's opening goal against Rahmatganj Muslim Friends Society in their last Citycell B. League match at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday. Abahani celebrated their title triumph with a 6-3 thrashing of the old town outfit. Photo: Amran Hossain
Abahani rounded off a championship-winning season in style by thumping Rahmatganj 6-3 in their final Citycell B. League game of the season at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.
Nigerian striker Emeka Christian struck an imperious hattrick as the Sky Blues set the record straight by thrashing a side who had beaten them 2-1 in the opening game of the season.
The result was only icing on the cake, and the poor turnout only validated that fact, as Abahani had already confirmed their second successive league title with a 2-1 win at Sheikh Russel in the previous matchday.
Away at Chittagong, league top-scorer Alamu Bukola struck twice as another popular Dhaka outfit Mohammedan finished runners-up after a 3-1 victory over Chittagong Abahani.
At the Bangabandhu National Stadium, with the title already in the bag Amalesh Sen's charges struck up a brand of exciting football with Emily, Zahed Parvez and Mamun also getting on the scoresheet alongside Emeka.
Rahmatganj replied through two Francis penalties while Hirok netted the other.
The big Nigerian, Emeka, a constant thorn in the side of other defences this year, finished with 17 goals, just one shy of Bukola who scored 18 for the season.
The only downside for the Sky Blues was that they celebrated the end of a successful campaign infront of a small crowd.
However, coach Amalesh Sen could not stop smiling.
"Our football standard has declined in the last few years and the country didn't see any action in the last season. So it's time to bring back the old crowd and I am hopeful," said Amalesh who had a poor start in the season when his side lost the curtain raiser Federation Cup.
"I think it's (the championship) totally a combined effort but if you want to single out any player, he is none other than Yussif (Samad)," said the veteran coach, praising his Ghanaian center-back.
In the end, it was Abahani's strength in depth that paid dividends as they managed to cover for lengthy absences of inspirational captain Arif Khan Joy, defenders Nazrul and Sujon and attacker Ujjal.
Abahani won the title with a six-point margin and their good management of resources contributed to that fact. They started the season in poor fashion but managed to come out on top in all the major battles of the season, disposing of Mohammedan, Russel and Brothers. In addition they also strung together a record nine-match winning run.
Amalesh also observed that his players have a better chemistry than the other teams.
"They have had very good understanding because they trained together for long," said Amalesh.
Abahani had continued their camp last season despite there were no action on the field.
Away at the MA Aziz Stadium, Dhaka Mohammedan had needed only one point to confirm the runners-up gong but came up all three when Bukola scored twice in the 3rd and 14th minutes and Hazem netted one in the 51st minute.
Mithun pulled back one for the local Abahani in the 23rd minute from a penalty to finish with 23 points.
In the day's other inconsequential match, Muktijoddha Sangsad finished with a 2-1 victory over Khulna Abahani at the Khulna Stadium.
Moni and Kanchan scored for the struggling Muktijoddha, who were lackluster in this season while Bhasani netted the lone goal for the losers.
Bottom-side Khulna have five points and Muktijoddha finished with 13 points to be placed 10th in the eleven-team fray.