Ibrahim shines through the wings

Wahid Ullah Bakul | Published: 22:59, Feb 26,2020


Bashundhara Kings winger Mohammad Ibrahim (R) celebrates after scoring one of his two goals against Brothers Union during their football league match at the BNS on Tuesday. — BFF photo

The injury troubles of Bashundhara Kings have come as a blessing in disguise for Mohammad Ibrahim, who returned to his preferred left wing position against Brothers Union on Tuesday and reminded everyone of his attacking capabilities.

Ibrahim starred in Bashundhara’s 3-2 victory over Brothers Union on Tuesday, where he became the first local player to net a brace in the running edition of the Bangladesh Premier League.

This was Ibrahim’s first goal in the country’s premier football competition since July 16 last year, when he scored against the same opponents and it was his only goal of the season.

Bashundhara’s Spanish coach Oscar Bruzon used Ibrahim as a left back in the previous season, despite him usually playing in left wing for the national team under Jamie Day.

But Bruzon had no choice but to change his plans for this edition as three of his key players, forward Matin Miah, midfielder Masuk Mia Jony and defender Atikur Rahman Fahad were out with injury.

Bruzon was trying to fill up the hole left in the attacking third by playing Ibrahim, who he nicknamed ‘Ibra’, in the left wing in their first match, then in a central mid-field in the second match before bringing him back to left wing against Brothers.

Ibrahim grabbed onto his opportunity with two first half goals in the match and was glad to end his barren goal-scoring period with a bang.

‘It’s really good to get goals for the club after a long time,’ Ibrahim told New Age on Wednesday.

‘I scored my last goal for the Kings against the same opponent last season. It was my only goal of the season where I played as left-back and got fewer opportunities to score, yet, I made around ten assists,’ Ibrahim added.

The 22-year old said that he enjoyed the freedom of playing at left wing but he didn’t label himself as only a left winger, saying that he was equally prepared to return to his last season’s left back position if required.

‘The concentration required for left-back and left-wing positions and both are almost same. But my personal choice is left-wing. This is my favourite playing position where I’m more used to. It gives me more freedom and comfort to play. It paid off yesterday,’ Ibrahim said.

Since making his debut for the national team in the fifth edition of the Bangabandhu Gold Cup in October, 2018, Ibrahim has managed to score only once in nine matches, which came against Sri Lanka last month in the sixth edition of the same tournament.

The Cox’s Bazar-born footballer was yet to make a big splash in the national scene, not providing any noteworthy performance in Bangladesh’s FIFA-AFC joint-qualifiers second round matches against Oman, India, Qatar and Afghanistan respectively.

The national team is scheduled to face Afghanistan in their return leg match in Sylhet on March 26 and Ibrahim hoped to net a goal in that fixture, if he is given an opportunity to play.

‘Earlier, I played in the left-wing position for the national team. If I get the chance to play in same position again, I hope to score against Afghanistan,’ Ibrahim said.

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