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Honours even as Golapganj frustrate reigning champions

Emdad Rahman

Golapganj 1-1 Osmani Nagar

Greater Sylhet Cup holders Osmani Nagar were given a full work out as draw specialists Golapganj stayed true to form in their final Greater Sylhet warm up game at Chobham Academy Athletes Village.

With the Greater Sylhet Cup less than two weeks away, both teams tried out a number of players in various positions as those on the fringes of their respective squads looked to impress and possibly break through into the final 16.

The first half saw a flurry of chances fall to both teams, with Mamun Chowdhury’s Osmani Nagar shading it in terms of play. The lion’s share of ball possession was to no avail as Golapganj countered with a move involving Mohsin Ahmed, Mohammed Zakaria and Rahat – before Soleman Hussain slotted in Atique for the opening goal.

It was the spark the encounter needed, and both teams upped the pace in search of a killer goal or equaliser. With Golapganj stamping their authority on the game, the pendulum swung the other way. Emrul Islam began to take control in midfield and Lokuj Jaman twice went close with nifty efforts.

There was to be a twist, though – and with 15 minutes remaining on the clock Rubel fouled Rashid Ali inside the box and a penalty was awarded to Osmani Nagar. Abul stepped up and struck an assured spit kick – but the outstanding Anam Hoque spun stealthily to his left to pull off a textbook save.

Hoque’s heroics were marred five minutes later as a failed clearance landed to Rashid Ali, who couldn’t believe his luck as he poked home the equaliser. It was harsh on the Golapganj number one, who had single handedly pulled off a string of saves, including acrobatically tipping a long range shot onto the post, to keep his team in the match.

One of the highlights of the game saw a polished performance at left back by 56 year old Moklu Miah of Gulapganj. The local businessman put in several key tackles as Osmani Nagar pressed forward for a winner and was roundly applauded when subbed late in the game.

Osmani Nagar Manager Mamun Chowdhury MBE said, “It’s been an interesting evening. Golapganj are a strong side and several of my players were tested thoroughly. It has given me food for thought as I finalise my squad ahead of next week.”

Golapganj Head Coach Kamruz Zaman added, “It was a typical British style game. There were plenty of tackles flying around and the pace was good throughout. My team gave their maximum, and it is unfortunate we didn’t win. The bond within the squad remains very strong.”

Referee: Emdad Rahman

 

 

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