Astonishing comeback sees Stepney lift BFA Sonali Bank Cup
PUBLISHED: 15:00 21 September 2017
Stepney FC have been crowned champions of the Bangladesh Football Association Sonali Bank Cup for the first-time ever.
The Tower Hamlets-based club faced BYM for what was the last game for many of their starting eleven at Mile End Stadium.
The club welcomed special match day guests and club stalwarts Runu Miah, Sorwar Alam and former player manager Forid Ahmed, who led the team to four trophies in one season.
It was a lethargic start for Muj Rahman’s side with BYM taking control of the middle of the park and displaying greater hunger and desire.
It was no surprise when the sky blues took the lead in the 20th minute through playmaker Hassan Abdi and followed it up with an unchallenged second from Imdad Hussain ten minutes before the break as Sham Zaman was left exposed by his back four.
A rejuvenated side began the second-half, but it was BYM who got the first chance and almost made it three with a swift counter attack.
Sahidur Rahman replaced Jafar Alam and the attacking midfielder made an instant impact by crawling one back for his side.
Captain Zaheer Saleh put his side back on level terms after heading home a cross from Majid Chowdhury in the 92nd minute.
It remained 2-2 at the end of extra-time and ended up going to penalties.
Man of the match Sham Zaman pulled off three stunning saves and even missed one from the spot, whilst Toklisur Rahman and Sam O’ Brien made no mistakes to seal the cup.
Head coach Muj Rahman said: “Even though we played poorly in patches we were confident that if we got a goal back we would have our opponents on the back foot.
“This is a team accustomed to winning and this season has been particularly cruel for us.
“To end the campaign in this manner is amazing.”
Captain Zaheer Saleh, who played his last game, said, “For me it’s been an honour and privilege to serve this team and pick up so many pieces silverware.
“This is the icing on the cake for us old boys and a particularly poignant moment for me and many of my team mates, who move onto new beginnings.
“I believe we have left a sound legacy and I hope our achievements will continue to inspire generations of Stepney players in the future.”