Sylhet District over 50’s win Sonali Othith Great Sylhet District Cup
- Credit: Archant
Emdad Rahman’s men played their part in exciting final with Sunamganj, but managed to triumph
Sylhet District over 50’s made history as the golden generation became the first ever winners of the Sonali Othith Greater Sylhet District Cup UK.
Emdad Rahman’s men faced a strong Sunamganj team in a breathtakingly entertaining final showdown. In the early exchanges Sylhet took control and enjoyed early possession with Sheysta Miah and Helal Uddin proving influential on the right.
Moklu Miah was switched to centre half and easily countered the attacking threat posed by Arman Ali of Sunamganj.
Dawlath Khan Babul’s presence in front of the back line provided the backbone for midfield schemer Bodrul Hoque to stamp his authority on the game. The Bangladeshi football legend was persuaded to play despite an injury and was sent home to collect his boots prior to kick off. Hoque’s presence was crucial in allowing Bilal Fahim, Abdul Khalique and Abdul Mohid to roam freely.
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Midway through the first half the pendulum swung the way of Sylhet as Hoque was fouled for a penalty. The penalty from Dawlath Khan Babul was brilliantly saved by Sunamganj number one Bokul Hussain but Bilal Fahim ghosted in to poke home the rebound.
An astute tactical substitution in the second half saw Atikur Rahman switched to the centre of the park and the powerful midfielder swapped an exquisite cutting pass with Bodrul Hoque to surge in from the right flank and beat the keeper with a sweet left foot bullet from outside the box to make it 2-0.
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The game was far from over and Sunamganj showed their mettle by pulling a goal back instantly through danger man Mostaque Choudhury.
In a further twist Mostaque Choudhury went clean through and was upended by Moklu Miah. Referee Akmar Matin instantly blew for a penalty.
Choudhury dusted himself down and stepped up to take the penalty and shot low and straight down the middle. Sylhet goalkeeper Jilu Miah dived right but used his trailing left leg to save the spot kick in spectacular fashion. With pulses racing it was Moklu Miah who reacted quickest to clear the ball to safety.
A nervous final few minutes saw another close penalty call for Sunamganj. It was a clean tackle from Sheysta Miah and the referee whistled for a Sylhet goal kick. Abdul Latif Nizam was pushed back to add midfield steel in order to deter a late Sunamganj onslaught.
The final whistle saw players, supporters, officials and managers all descend onto the pitch in jubilant celebrations as Sylhet District lapped up the accolades in a landmark moment in what was the most entertaining game of the day. Bodrul Hoque was unanimously named man of the match.
Sylhet District team captain and Sonali Othith chairman Dawlath Khan Babul said: “This is a very proud moment for us. These players have been involved in football for decades but this is very much up there with our greatest memories.
“We hope that older footballers will delay hanging up their boots. On the basis of what we saw there’s plenty left in their tanks. Well done and thank you to the team and managers for all the hard work. It has paid off.”
Assistant manager Abdul Kahar added: “The attitude throughout has been immense and the legends have pulled through. We stuck to our game plan even when under pressure and this paid dividends.
“The players were patient and each one stuck to their roles like clockwork. Thank you to Sonali Othith for arranging such a fantastic football festival yet again.”
Team manager Emdad Rahman MBE said: “It has been a tremendous honour to manage this bunch. It’s fantastic that my team have created a piece of history.
“Sunamganj were dogged throughout but we had that little extra quality that was the difference. I’m very proud of them all. The legacy of this achievement will be remembered for a very long time.”
Playing squad: Jilu Miah - Abdul Mohid - Nurul Hoque - Atikur Rahman - Dawlath Khan Babul (captain) - Sheysta Miah - Helal Uddin - Md Abdul Khalique - Md Moklu Miah - Abdul Latif Nizam - Moshrof Ali - Bilal Fahim - Selim Uddin.