Holders Abahani extended their unbeaten run against Team BJMC in the professional football league by handing the side a 1-0 defeat in a Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) encounter at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.
With this triumph, the 10th consecutively against BJMC, the Sky Blues also stretched their winning streak in the ongoing 11th edition of the BPL to four.
A lone strike from defender Tapu Barman helped Ahahani secure the win and top the 13-team table on 12 points, three more than Bashundhara Kings, Sheikh Russel, Saif SC and Arambagh KS, who have either played three of four matches.
Six-time champions Abahani, who came into the match on the back of two straight two wins, dominated from the onset, putting huge pressure on BJMC with Rubel Miah floating a shot over the crosspiece from the six-yard box after a miscued hit from Haitian Kervens Fils Belfort came his way in the seventh minute.
Three minutes later, BJMC survived a huge scare when Jahirul Alam rattled his own crossbar while attempting to clear a Wali Faisal corner. However, Barman then headed a Wali Faisal freekick home to give Abahani a deserved lead in the 26th minute.
After resumption, BJMC came close to levelling the margin but Cameroonian defender Fombagne Baybeck saw his header go inches wide in the 54th minute.
BJMC came close to equalizing the margin again in the 74th minute but defender Barman made a goalline save after goalkeeper Shahidul Alam Sohel lost grip of a a Shariful Islam shot to send the team home with their third straight defeat.
In the second match, Sheikh Jamal DC ended a dream run for Arambagh KS by inflicting a 2-0 defeat on the visitors, who came into the match on the back of wins against Saif SC, Mohammedan SC and Chittagong Abahani.
After a barren first half, Gambian forward Solomon King put Sheikh Jamal ahead in the 61st minute, converting a penalty before Argentinean Luciano Perez sealed victory through a 67th minute strike.
With the second consecutive win, the three-time champions leapfrogged from eighth to sixth position with seven points from five matches while Arambagh KS remain in fourth position with nine points from five matches.