Mahtab Uddin : History has been repeated as the defending champion Usha KC kicked out Abahani Ltd. in the final of UCB Club Cup hockey at Maulana Bhasani National Hockey Stadium yesterday.
Usha KC retained their club cup hockey championship trophy for the fourth time securing victory over archrival Abahani, who won the club cup hockey tournament in 2007 by 3-1.
In the semi-final Abahani Ltd. went past Ajax Sporting Club by 7-0 goals and confirmed the final berth while Usha KC stormed into the final with a 5-1 win over Sonali Bank in the other semi-final.
In the 4th minute, Usha’s midfielder Fazle Hossen Rabbi netted the ball into Abahani’s post converting a nicely passed ball from forward Krishna Kumar. In the first half Abahani created several opportunities but failed to equalise the margin.
After the break Usha began to dominate the game with more effective movements from their forward Krishna Kumar, Rimon Kumar Ghosh and Mainul Islam Kowsik as well as midfielder Sarwar Hossen, Fazle Hossen Rabbi and Jahid Bin Talik Shuvo.
Struggling, Abahani Ltd. could not stop Mainul Islam Kowsik to score the second goal for Usha in the 45th minute from the pass of midfielder Fazle Hossen Rabbi.
All the hopes of Abahani gone in vain after squandering the opportunity of the first and the only penalty corner of the match in 63rd minute with Khorshedur Rahman hitting an unsuccessful and faint shot though a surprise was waiting in the eleventh hour as in the 69th minute Abahani’s energetic forward Puskar khisha Mimo scored the lone goal for them. Abahani endeavoured for one more time before the final whistle.
While describing their strategy for winning the match Usha’s coach informed that, from their experience they knew that some players of Abahani specifically Puskar khisha Mimo and Hasan Zubayer Niloy were the trump cards for Abahani Ltd. who can make a match and hence they were very careful of them. Usha is determined to play in this style in the upcoming league as well.
The Champions were given prise money of 30,000 TK while runner-up team got 20,000 TK. Mainul Islam Kowsik of Usha was given 10,000 TK for maximum number of goals in the tournament. Sonali Bank earned the fair play trophy.