Bangladesh Police Football Club reached the semi-final of the Federation Cup for the first time, after beating a shaky Saif Sporting Club 3-1 in the third quarter-final at Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka Tuesday.
This is the first time Police are participating in the tournament after the professional league was introduced in 2007.
They had previously played the Dhaka League in 1998.
Police manager Maruf Hasan said they had never reached the semi-final of the Federation Cup, which was founded in 1980.
Police were forced to make an early substitution, with defender Mahmud Alam replacing the injured Arif Khan Joy.
They also had an early scare when a finger-tip save from goalkeeper Arifuzzaman Himel denied a Jamal Bhuiyan free-kick.
Forward MS Bablu broke the deadlock with a spectacular strike after the half-hour mark, chesting down a lob at the top of the box before unleashing a perfect volley into the right side of Saif keeper Pappu Hossain.
American striker Sidney Rivera doubled the lead in added time of the first half with a bullet effort from outside the box.
A stretching Pappu had no chance.
Poor defending from Saif allowed Sidney to score another soon after the break, tapping into an empty net after Riyadul Hasan Rafi failed to stop Luka from feeding the ball.
Kyrgyz midfielder Murolimzhon Akhmedov pulled one back three minutes later, curving a precise free-kick into top right corner.
Saif’s foreign recruits Akhmedov, Deiner Andres and Jahongir Ergashev had some big chances in the game but squandered them all, while their tired-looking defenders, including three national players, were far from upto the mark.
“It was difficult from the beginning because they have good local and foreign players. We showed character at the end and I am happy for that. This is fantastic achievement for us,” said Police head coach Nikola Vitorovic.
Saif’s Mohamed Nizam blamed poor decision making and the attitude of his players for the defeat.
Police will face Bashundhara Kings in the second semi-final Friday.
RESULT
Saif 1 (Akhmedov 55) 3 Police (Bablu 31, Sidney 45+1, 52)

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