Whenever Abahani and Mohammedan squared off in the past, it was always regarded as what should be a fierce competition between two perennial rivals with fans turning up in droves to support their sides. However, when the Sky Blues annihilated Mohammedan 3-0 in a Bangladesh Premier League encounter amid sparse support at Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday, it proved that those days are long gone.
Abahani's foreign trio -- Nigeria's Sunday Chizoba, South Korea's Minhyeok Ko and Haiti's Kervens Fils Belfort -- struck a goal each to bring further humiliate the struggling Black and Whites, who remain winless from their last seven matches. Meanwhile, holders Abahani have notched seven wins from nine.
Interestingly, the biggest outcry for Mohammedan's sorry state did not come from officials but instead from Abahani striker Sunday, who once played for the outfit.
“I think Mohammedan are a good side with good players but sadly, they are not united. Maybe they have some groups, groups always cause problems. They have good players but they don't have love for the team,” said Sunday, who was a part of the Mohammedan squad which beat Abahani to win the Super Cup.
“I played for Mohammedan and at that time we had a strong team with five foreigners. We won the Super Cup, beating Abahani,” Sunday continued. “Mohammedan is a big team in Bangladesh and I think what they need is love. They are not united like Abahani.”
Following showers, both sides tried to control the game with Abahani attacking through the flanks. Mohammedan's attacks were sporadic at best.
Sunday gave Abahani the lead in the 37th minute with a tap-in after a drive from Nabib Newaj Jibon came off the post. Minhyeok then fired home from inside the box after a cut-back from Sunday in the 57th minute. Ten minutes later, Belfort headed in a Rubel Mia corner to hand Mohammedan their biggest defeat against Abahani since the 9th edition of the league.
Mohammedan coach Shahidul Islam Jewel was frustrated with the poor performance.
“The boys could not carry out my instructions and implement the game plan. The boys were instructed to stop the Korean player [Minhyeok] but they could not do it and the second goal threw us from the match.”
This was Abahani's 10th win over Mohammedan, who have won four times in 22 BPL meetings,