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Bangladesh miss out on Saff U-18 title despite beating Bhutan

  • Published at 06:22 pm September 27th, 2017
  • Last updated at 06:33 am September 28th, 2017
Bangladesh miss out on Saff U-18 title despite beating Bhutan
Youngster Jafar Iqbal struck a sensational brace once again but Bangladesh still finished runners-up in the Saff U-18 Championship 2017 after beating host Bhutan comfortably 2-0 in their last match at Changlimithang Stadium in Thimphu Wednesday. The goals might have come at the late stage but it was a dominant performance by Bangladesh over the home side. In-form Jafar came off the bench early in the second half and exhibited his great talent with two spectacular finishes, leaving the host stunned. Nepal emerged as champion after beating India 2-0 in the day's second and tournament's last game. Bangladesh ended the five-nation tournament at second place with nine points from four matches, including three wins. Bangladesh were not in the best of form at the beginning with Jafar starting on the bench. But when he did come on Bangladesh dominated possession with Bhutan concentrating more on protecting their defence. The youngsters in red and green started gaining momentum as the game wore on. Jafar put Bangladesh ahead in the 81st minute with a brilliant finish. The Chittagong Abahani forward skipped past a couple of defenders with sheer pace to break into the right side of the penalty area before slotting home past the Bhutan goalkeeper at the far post. Jafar doubled the lead only three minutes later. This time he beat the opponent keeper with clever placing into the near post from the left side of the box. Head coach Mahbubur Rahman Roksy credited team effort for the win. “The boys put up a brilliant performance, starting from the first match against India to the last one against Bhutan," he said. He added, “We couldn’t win against Nepal, but that happens. All the other matches were amazing and we have all worked hard as we followed every step of constructive football.” When asked why Jafar was not in the starting XI, he replied, “We knew Bhutan play very defensive. Jafar would have been cornered from the beginning, but we put him in the middle of the pitch. That made the difference.” Meanwhile, Bangladesh kicked off their campaign brilliantly beating India 4-3 after coming from a three-goal deficit. They found it easier in the second match against Maldives with a comfortable 2-0 win before conceding their first defeat - 2-1 - against Nepal in the third match. In Bangladesh’s defence though, they played most of the match with 10 men. RESULT Bangladesh U-18 2 (Jafar 81, 84) 0 Bhutan U-18   POINTS TABLE Teams P W D L GD Pts Nepal 4 3 0 1 4 9 Bangladesh 4 3 0 1 4 9 India 4 2 0 2 1 6 Bhutan 4 2 0 2 -3 6 Maldives 4 0 0 4 -6 0