• Thursday, Jan 28, 2021
  • Last Update : 08:40 pm

Bangladesh clinch series despite stalemate

  • Published at 07:05 pm November 17th, 2020
BFF
Bangladesh players celebrate after winning the Mujib Barsho Fifa International Football Series 2020 against Nepal at Bangabandhu National Stadium Tuesday Dhaka Tribune/Md Manik

It was the first time the men in red and green took the pitch without head coach Day in the dug-out since his appointment two years ago

A lackluster display from both the teams saw Bangladesh held to a goalless draw in the second Fifa friendly by visiting Nepal at the overcrowded Bangabandhu National Stadium Tuesday.

It was the first time the men in red and green took the pitch without Covid-19 struck head coach Jamie Day in the dug-out since his appointment two years ago.

The home side earlier won the first game comfortably 2-0 at the same venue Friday which was their first win over the Himalayan neighbor in five years. 

With the latest draw, they win the two-game Mujib Barsho Fifa International Football Series 2020.

Earlier, the host made two changes from the last game as goalkeeper Ashraful Islam Rana and center-back Yeasin Khan returned to the starting Xl replacing last-match’s debutant Anisur Rahman Zico and Riyadul Hasan Rafi.

The touring side made as many as five changes with Ajit Bhandari and Suman Aryal making way for Ranjit Dhimal and Tshring Gurung in the back-four. 

Anjan Bista replaced Bikram Lama in midfield while Bharat Khawas and Darsan Gurung started up front in place of Ravishankar Paswan and Nawayug Shrestha.

It was only Nabib Newaj Jibon who looked lively throughout the dull first-half that had only a single shot on target.

 Jamal Bhuiyan in action Dhaka Tribune/Md Manik

The Abahani Limited forward opened the scoring in the first friendly after starting behind debutant striker Sumon Reza.

Jibon remained unchanged at No 10 and created a couple of good chances for Sumon but the Uttar Baridhara Club striker squandered both before Mahbubur Rahman Sufil replaced him at the break.

In the 23rd minute, Sumon was in a position to break into the danger zone after being set up by Jibon outside the box. 

Sumon fired it inches over the bar from 20 yards out. 

Saad Uddin showed his brilliance when he drifted past a couple of Nepalese players before forwarding the ball to Jibon whose precise low cross was squandered by Sumon from six-yard distance eight minutes later.

Apart from those, Jamal Bhuiyan and Co couldn’t enjoy the opening half as they did in the last game, while Nepal relied mostly on long balls but only in vain. 

Jibon was found hapless up in the right flank with no support to back him.  

The second half was a bit more aggressive and started gaining momentum with the clock ticking by but still there were no clear-cut chances from either side until the end of stipulated time.

 First match's goal scorer Nabib Newaj Jibon controls the ball Dhaka Tribune/Md Manik

Sufil made a couple of runs but couldn’t find a breakthrough like the previous match against a reshaped Nepal defence.

A bizarre event occurred in the 73rd minute when a home supporter entered the pitch from the northeastern gallery and ran towards Jamal to take a selfie before security officials escorted him out.   

Both sides went all-out for the winning goal in the last quarter but without organized build-up, except in injury time when Nawajug hit the sidebar with a header from a cross.

Fireworks sparked soon after the final whistle and a stage was set up to girdle the Bangladesh players with medals and trophy for winning the series. 

Sufil received the most valuable player award for his beautiful goal in the first friendly.

The two friendlies are the only official international football matches held in south Asia during the time of Covid-19 pandemic.

All domestic fixtures were postponed when the pandemic hit the country at the middle of March while the national team played their last game against Burundi during the Bangabandhu Gold Cup 2020 semi-final in January.

Bangladesh will travel to Qatar to play the World Cup and Asian Cup joint qualifying away fixture against the Asian champion on December 4.  

Nepal goalkeeper Kiran Kumar saves from Mohammad Ibrahim Dhaka Tribune/Md Manik

Result

Bangladesh 0 0 Nepal

Squads

Bangladesh: Ashraful Islam Rana; Topu Barman, Yeasin Khan, Rahmat Mia, Bishwanath Ghosh; Manik Hossain (Sohel Rana 62), Jamal Bhuiyan, Saad Uddin, Mohammad Ibrahim (Biplo Ahmed 62), Nabib  Newaj Jibon; Sumon Reza (Mahbubur Rahman Sufil 45).

Nepal: Kiran Kumar; Ranjit Dhimal, Ananta Tamang, Tshring Gurung, Bikash Khawas; Arik Bista, Tej Tamang (Pujan Uperkoti 45), Anjan Bista (Sesehang Angdembe 73’), Sujal Shrestha, Darsan Gurung; Bharat Khawas (Nawajug Shrestha 19).

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