New Radiant makes powerful entrance into AFC Cup 2018
New Radiant Sports Club has emerged triumphant in Wednesday's game against Bangladesh champions Dhaka Abahani with a 1-0 win.
The Wednesday's game, played at Bangabandhu National Stadium, did not start well for the Maldivian players as they found themselves physically 'unmatched' to the athletic Nigerian players on Abahani's roster. The home team was at an advantage with ball possession in the first half of the game.
The two Nigerian players on home team's roster managed to give the visiting team - New Radiant - some tough time to device an efficient strategy.
The game's only goal was scored by Ali Fasir who pushed the ball into the far corner of the net from the penalty corner - an assist from Ali Umair.
New Radiant scored their winning goal 58 minutes into the game.
Looking at the first half, New Radiant's Spaniard forward Mati and home-grown player Hamza Mohamed lost opportunities to put the ball at the back of the net. While Mati's attack resulted in the ball catapulting over the goal bar, Hamza's attempt was intervened by Abahani's talented goalie Mahmud Alam.
Second half started much like the first with New Radiant still struggling to keep up with the home team.
The visiting team was able to take a sigh of relief only after one of the Nigerian players suffered two yellow cards and was send off the field with a red.
Following this both teams attempted to push their offensive into their opponent's half - with New Radiant's Ashfaq managing a clean shoot at the half-line which was intercepted by Abahani's Allison.
The home team grew unstoppable during the final minutes of the game with several corners resulting in the succeeding attempts to make a goal. Abahani's players managed to place the ball into the net of New Radiant's end which however was nullified over fouls made on visiting team's goalie Imran Mohamed by Abahani players.