Keeper Suzan the hero in Mohammedan draw

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Suzan Hossain, an unfamiliar face, was one of four changes British coach Sean Lane made to the starting XI that was held to a 1-1 draw against Bangladesh Muktijoddha Sangsad Krira Chakra in the last match

Riding on superb display from goalkeeper Suzan Hossain, Mohammedan Sporting Club Limited played out a goalless draw against Sheikh Russel Krira Chakra in the Federation Cup Group D encounter between the sides at Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka Tuesday.

Suzan, an unfamiliar face, was one of four changes British coach Sean Lane made to the starting XI that was held to a 1-1 draw against Bangladesh Muktijoddha Sangsad Krira Chakra in the last match. 

Rakib Khan, Mohammad Atikuzzaman and Yusuf Sifat were the other players brought in.

Sheikh Russel made only a single change, with local forward Toklis Ahmed replacing the injured Pedro Oliveira.

In addition to the heroic display from the keeper, a shift in strategy from Lane also reaped dividends. 

Switching from a 3-4-3 formation to 4-3-3, Mohammedan did not give Sheikh Russel any space in the midfield, especially in the first half.

Suzan made the first save in the 14th minute, when he took an easy catch after Raphael Odoyin had raced past his marker and taken a straight left-footer.

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Mohammedan went close to scoring twice in the 18th minute, when Japanese midfielder Uryu Nagata saw his powerful shot blocked by the defence after Sifat’s initial effort was punched away by Ashraful Islam Rana.

Suzan produced a spectacular save three minutes into the second half, punching away Raphael’s free-kick from inches outside the box, before blocking Khondaker Ashraful Islam’s angled effort on the hour mark.

“Our performance was average in the last match, but we played well [Tuesday]. The defence was solid and we were better in the final third. Overall, I am happy with the performance,” Lane said after the match.

Sheikh Russel assistant coach Masud Parvez Kaiser said: “[Tuesday] was a game where nobody wanted to lose. They didn’t give us space in midfield, only on the wings. I am not happy with the draw, as now we must win the next game.”

Sheikh Russel sit at the top of the table with four points from two outings, while Mohammedan and Muktijoddha are in joint-second with two points each. 

Mohammedan face Uttar Baridhara Club while Sheikh Russel and Muktijoddha face off against each other Saturday.

Starting XI

Mohammedan: Mazharul Islam Himel; Stanley Amadi, Habibur Rahman Sohag, Uryu Nagata; Ugochukwu Moneke, Rakib Khan Evan, Mohammad Mithu, Mohammad Atikuzzaman; Yousuf Sifat, Amir Hakim Bappy, Soulemane Diabate.

Sheikh Russel: Ashraful Islam Rana; Asaduzzaman Bablu, Alison Udoka, Mohammad Sohel Rana, Yeamin Munna; Sheikh Galib Newaz, Mohammad Abdullah, Alisher Azizov, Khondoker Ashraful Islam, Toklis Ahmed; Raphael Odoyin.

RESULT

Mohammedan 0 0 Sk Russel