Wednesday, June 19, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

Bengal Tigers, Nepal into semis

Update : 15 Jan 2016, 06:38 PM

Bangladesh swept into the semi-finals of the fourth Bangabandhu Gold Cup as group champions despite being held to a goalless draw by Nepal at Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

The confirmation of the Bengal Tigers’ last-four berth came even before their game had begun when Malaysia XI (Felda United) conceded a 2-1 defeat against Sri Lanka in yesterday’s afternoon clash.

Yesterday’s stalemate also ensured Nepal’s place in the semi-finals as both the Gorkhalis and the Bengal Tigers ended the group stage on equal five points from three outings. The home side however, finished at the top courtesy a better goal difference.

Winger Zahid Hossain was not included in the squad and in his place came Monayem Khan Raju. Head coach Maruful Haque made another change to the squad that drew against Malaysia last Wednesday with defender Yeamin Ahmed Munna coming in place of Waly Faisal.

The Bengal Tigers had the opportunity of playing with freedom having already confirmed their semi-final berth but struggled to improve their playing style. The hosts were also finding it difficult to make the perfect balance between defence, midfield and forward line.

After scoring a brace against Sri Lanka, Shakhawat Hossain Rony failed to live up to the expectation of the weekend crowd, missing a host of chances. The home side came agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock in the 12th minute but Rony’s shot was saved by Nepal goalkeeper Bikesh Kuthu.

Rony squandered another opportunity in the 84th minute when he shot over the bar following some neat display by Raju.

First win for Lankans, holders out

The already-eliminated Sri Lanka registered their first point of the tournament when they beat Malaysian side Felda United 2-1 at the same venue yesterday afternoon. Sri Lanka finished the group stage at third position with three points while Malaysia Xl are rooted at the bottom of the table with two points.

Forward Land Bandara put Sri Lanka ahead in the 19th minute against the run of play. Following a quick counter-attack, midfielder Azar Mohamed Shaheel provided a through pass to Sundaraj Niresh at the left edge of the box and Niresh cut the ball back to Bandara whose toe-pocked ball hit the side-post before entering the net.

Malaysia, the defending champions, had two chances to equalise in the rest of the first half when Bobby Gonzales’ 36th-minute side-volley hit the woodwork and the substitute forward failed to beat Sri Lankan goalie Ruwan Arunasiri in a one-on-one situation in added time.

Midfielder Sanjeewa made Malaysia’s job more difficult when he doubled the lead in the 63rd minute, placing home a forward pass of Chalana Chameera.

Malaysia managed to reduce the margin in the 82nd minute when defender Fazle Alias’ header entered the net following a cross of Hadin Azman. 

Top Brokers


Popular Links