Ariful halts Feni from the brinkStaff Correspondent
Feni Soccer Club goalkeeper Ariful Islam saved a penalty in the last minute to help his team snatch a point from Brother Union in a 1-1 draw in the Bangladesh Premier League at the Bangabandhu National Stadium on Thursday.
Feni Soccer’s right-winger Shahedul Alam Shahed gave his side the lead late in the first half and Tauhidul Islam equalised for Brothers two minutes before the final whistle.
The Feni outfit, who beat Rahmatganj MFS and Mohammedan SC in their previous two matches, took control of the game from the beginning though Brothers put them under pressure sometimes through counter-attacks.
Under-19 national team winger Shahed finally gave Feni Soccer the edge in the 40th minute, chipping the ball over an advancing Brothers keeper Uttam Barua from Maksudul Alam Bulbul’s free-kick.
Brothers, who are unbeaten in their last six matches, however, did not take time to realise the urgency of the situation and pressed their opponents harder for an equaliser, playing a 3-4-3 formation instead of conventional 4-4-2.
The strategy adopted by the Brothers coach Syed Nayeemuddin, however, did not work out but his 80th-minute replacement of Kingsley Chigozie with Tauhid paid off as the local striker hit the equaliser eight minutes later with a curling left-foot shot from outside the penalty area.
Brothers could have left the field with full three points had Feni Soccer goalie Ariful not saved a penalty taken by Samuel Jankasha, diving to his left in the final minute.
‘I had the confidence that I would be able to save the spot-kick. So I waited until he took the shot and I dived once I saw him shooting to the left side,’ said the goalkeeper, who is playing in the professional league for the first time in his career.
‘This is my third match in the league and we won the previous two games I played in. I came as a good luck for my team,’ Arif added.
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