Holders Bashundhara Kings had to toil hard to secure a narrow 1-0 victory against a stubborn Uttar Baridhara at Nilphamari as the 12th edition of the Bangladesh Premier League got underway in three different venues on Thursday.
In the two other two matches on the opening day, Chattogram Abahani beat Sheikh Jamal Dhanmandi Club by 2-0 goals at the Bangabandhu National Stadium while the match between Sheikh Russell Krira Chakra and Brothers Union ended in a 1-1 draw at the Sylhet District Stadium.
At Nilphamari, Kings’ Costa Rican World Cupper and captain Daniel Colindres scored the match winner in the 87th minute after receiving a cross from forward Mahbubur Rahman Sufil.
Kings were very attacking from the very start of the game but Baridhara’s defense kept the champions at bay till the final few minutes.
The Baridhara defense nullified at least seven attacks of Colindres, Sufil and defender Topu Barman.
Kings keeper Anisur Rahman denied two free-kicks from Baridhara’s Gambian forward Landing Darboe.
Kings suffered a blow just a minute from the final whistle when their defender Yeasin Khan was sent off after a second yellow card.
In Dhaka, Nigerian forward Chinedu Mathew gave Chattogram Abahani the lead in the 55th minute before Ivory Coast midfielder Charles Didier doubled the margin in the 65th minute.
Mathew’s shot from inside the box found the back of the net following a diagonal pass from midfielder Rakib Hasan while Didier scored with a left-footed drive after a cutback by Mathew.
In Sylhet, Nigerian forward and last season’s top scorer Rapheal Odoyin gave Sheikh Russell the lead in the fourth minute before Brothers Uzbek midfielder Vali Jonov Otabek restored the parity in the 59th minute.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Football