Sports, Football

MSC closer to final

Published : 06 May 2024 09:27 PM

The reigning champions, Mohammedan Sporting Club (MSC), are set to clash with Bangladesh Police FC in the Federation Cup's opening semifinal. The match is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. at the Shaheed Bir Sreshtho Flight Lieutenant Matiur Rahman Stadium in Munshiganj this Tuesday.

While MSC and Bangladesh Police have never crossed paths in the Federation Cup, their encounters in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) have been frequent since 2020, with MSC securing two victories and five draws. Notably, their last match ended in a stalemate at the same venue on April 27.

MSC's journey to the semifinals was marked by a 2-1 victory over former champions Sheikh Russel Krira Chakra in the quarterfinals at Sheikh Fazlul Haque Mani Stadium on April 2. The team from Motijheel has maintained an unbeaten streak in the current Federation Cup, claiming victory in all four matches, including three in Group B, with eight goals scored and only four conceded.

Key players for MSC include left winger Jafar Iqbal, who has netted three goals in the tournament, alongside midfielder Muzaffar Muzaffarov and captain Souleymane Diabate. Coach Alfaz Ahmed's strategy heavily relies on these players, although the potential for others to score remains open. On the other side, Bangladesh Police FC has reached the semifinals for the first time, drawing two matches in the group stage and securing a decisive 3-0 win over Sheikh Jamal Dhanmodi Club in the quarterfinals at Sheikh Fazlul Haque Mani Stadium in Gopalganj on April 23.

Captain Isa Faysal of Police FC anticipates a challenging match, acknowledging MSC's strength and well-rounded team. The Police FC's offensive line, featuring strikers Javokhir Sokhibov, Shah Quazem Kirmane, and Abdullaev Azamat, is poised to create an upset.

Faysal expressed his respect for MSC's championship pedigree and talented roster but remains optimistic about his team's chances, stating, "We will give it our all. Overcoming MSC would be a remarkable achievement."