Dhaka – Defending champions Dhaka Abahani Limited will play star-studded newcomers Bashundhara Kings in the final of Walton Federation Cup Football at the Bangabandhu National Stadium here on Friday with both the teams keeping their eyes on the title.The match will kick off at 4:30pm in instead of scheduled 5pm. Satellite TV network Channel 9 will telecast the final live.
Last two times champions popular sky-blue Dhanmondi outfit, Abahani Limited, were very much serious to make a rare feat of hat-trick championship to play in the prestigious Asia Cup Football while big-budgeted Bashundhara Kings, in their first appearance, are looking for the maiden title with a good team combination studded with good local and foreign footballers.
In a pre-match press briefing on Thursday, Head Coach of Abahani Limited Zakaria Babu said, “We’re well-prepared and have no injury problem. We want to be the champions playing good football like the last two matches.”
“Abahani always forms team to be champions. We think nothing else but to be the champions. We have no special plan for any position or player of the opponent team. I think (our) player Sunday Chizuba is better than opponent player Colindres (Kings).”
Assistant Manager of Abahani Limited and former national defender Nazrul Islam and Abahani captain-cum-custodian Shahidul Alam Sohel said their only target is to be the champions to lift the hat-trick championship.
Addressing the press briefing, Assistant Coach of Bashundhara Kings Aby Faisal Ahmed said, “We want to be the champions beating Abahani (in final) although it will be a tough challenge for us. We regained our usual form playing a very good football in the quarterfinal although we had some bad days in group matches and we want to continue it in the final.”
“World Cup playing Colindres is a good team player, but Sunday is an individual player,” he added.
Injury-grabbed Bashundhara Kings captain Towhidul Alam Saboz who scored the match-winner in the semifinal against Sheikh Russel KC in 118th minute as a substitute player said, “Our target is be the champions to play the Asia Cup Football. Our team officials also expect these from us.”
Dhaka Abahani beat Muktijoddha SKC 1-0 and conceded 0-1 defeat against Sheikh Russel KC in group affairs to reach quarterfinal as group runners-up, beat Arambagh KS 3-2 in the quarterfinal and outplayed former champions Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club by 4-2 goals in the semifinal, featuring tournament’s 3rd hat-trick by Nigerian striker Sunday Chizuba.
Bashundhra Kings emerged Group D champions to reach quarterfinals beating Dhaka Mohammedan SC 5-3, drawing 1-1 with Sheikh Jamal DC and newcomers Nofel SC in group matches. They booked a seat for the semifinals crushing Team BJMC by 5-1 goals and reached the final beating Sheikh Russel KC 1-0 in a marathon 2nd semifinal.UNB