Bashundhara Kings dropped their first points in the Bangladesh Premier League when they were held to a goalless draw by Team BJMC at the Shaheed Bulu Stadium in Noakhali yesterday.
The Independence Cup champions, who had won their first five matches on the trot, had shown signs of rustiness in their previous match when they eked out a 1-0 win against strugglers Rahmatganj MFS at home. However, there was no escape for them against Team BJMC, another struggling outfit, as they failed to score and had to end the game with ten men.
Referee Jalaluddin showed a straight red card to Bashundhara Kings defender Nasiruddin Chowdhury, who was adjudged to have brought down opposition skipper Samson Iliyasu in front of the box in the 77th minute. The early pace-setters did navigate the rest of the time without conceding while playing with 10 men, but at the final whistle they turned on the referee for his decision.
Bashundhara Kings forward Bakhtiyar Duishobekov was shown yellow card after the final whistle for remonstrating with the referee for allowing less injury time than officially stated while coach Oscar Bruzon was restrained by one of his team officials as he tried to attack the referee for the same reason.
The team's manager BA Jubair Nipu blamed a poor playing surface and the wasted opportunities made by his players for not picking all three points.
“Firstly, this pitch is not for proper football. It's a hard and bumpy pitch, where they are used to playing. But our players are used to playing on better surfaces. So it was difficult for us,” Nipu told The Daily Star over phone.
“Still we should have won the game, but our players missed a lot of goal scoring opportunities. We should have won the game by a big margin. However, I don't have any issues with the red card because it was a clear foul,” Nipu added.
The draw moved Bashundhara Kings to 16 points from six matches, two points off leaders Abahani who have played seven matches. Team BJMC, on the other hand, moved to 11th position with three points from seven matches.
Meanwhile, 10-men Muktijoddha Sangsad were held to a 2-2 draw by Rahmatganj MFS at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka yesterday.
Ballo Famousa, Muktijoddha's Ivorian forward, missed a spot kick in the 10th minute, but redeemed himself with a quick brace, slotting home from the middle of the box in the 14th minute before doubling the lead with a diagonal shot six minutes later, thereby taking his tally to seven goals for the campaign. However, The Reds were reduced to 10 men four minutes later after their Japanese forward Yousuke Kato was shown marching orders for a retaliatory punch on Rahmatganj midfielder Rakibul Islam for an earlier foul.
The Old Dhaka outfit used their numerical advantage to good effect, with skipper Siyo Zunapio heading home on the 52nd minute before substitute Chowmrin Rakhaine headed in a rebound after Sohel Rana's shot had bounced off the post four minutes later.
The draw took Muktijoddha to seven points from six matches while Rahmatganj moved to four points from same number of matches.