Jamie Day’s side concluded the group campaign as runners-up riding on the Laos win and will face Group A champions in the second semi-final of the tournament Birshrestha Ruhul Amin Stadium in Cox’s Bazar on October 10
Hosts Bangladesh put up a brave and dominating display but yet conceded a narrow 1-0 defeat against a much higher-ranked Philippines side in their final Group B match of the Bangabandhu Gold Cup 2018 at the jam-packed Sylhet District Stadium on Friday evening.
The home side thoroughly controlled the game and created a series of chances to entertain more than 30 thousand people in the gallery and the rooftops of the surrounding buildings but their fighting spirit was dented away by the only chance converted by the visitors in the opening half.
Jamie Day’s side concluded the group campaign as runners-up, riding on the Laos win, and will face Group A champions in the second semi-final of the tournament at Birshrestha Ruhul Amin Stadium in Cox’s Bazar on October 10.
Day may find it hard to pick his starting eleven for semi-finals after the way his new starters performed. Four changes were made from the last game with full-backs Sushanto Tripura and Rahmat Miah replacing Bishhwanath Ghosh and Waly Faisal at the back-four respectively.
Mamunul Islam was initially picked up to start the game but Day later informed that a groin-injury while shooting during the warm-up sent him out at the last moment. Tawhidul Alam Sabuz made his return replacing Mahbubur Rahman Sufil to partner with Nabib Newaz Ziban up front. Emon Mahmud replaced Jamal Bhuiyan to take charge of midfield. Philippines made three changes.
The hosts had a glorious chance to open the scoring with only four minutes into the game. Topu Barman out-jumped his marker to meet Rahmat Miah’s long throw-in but his sliding header was tipped away by diving Philippines keeper and man-of-the-match Michael Casas which deflected off midfielder Andrew Alquiros before hitting the side-post. Sabuz found the rebound but his header was blocked from the goal-mouth scramble.
Philippines silenced the home crowd by taking the lead in the 24th minute through midfielder Michael Daniels. When Topu failed to clear a cross outside the box, Philippines skipper Misagh Bahadoran collected the ball and passed the ball quickly to Daniels whose right-footer deflected off Topu before rolling into the near post.
Topu’s header from Rahmat’s throw-in was gripped comfortably by the keeper three minutes after resumption. Two minutes later, Ziban dodged past Mariano Clarino through the right side, broke into the penalty area but in spite of taking any shot, the striker forwarded a pass which was blocked at the middle of the box.
The home side exhibited a brilliant effort for the equalizer in the 70th minute when Ziban’s diving header from the middle of the box following a Sabuz cross flew wide. Sabuz squandered another opportunity two minutes later, shooting over the bar from close-range after Emon’s corner slipped from the keeper.
The young attacking trio of Javed Khan, Md Ibrahim and Matin Mia came off the bench in the second half and continued to pile pressure on the opponents till the final whistle.
As Philippines coach Andres Gonzales admitted after the game that the hosts were tactically more sound in the game and did everything to dominate the game but the only thing they didn’t get was the goal.
Bangladesh Playing Xl: Ashraful Islam Rana; Topu Barman, Tutul Hossain Badsha, Sushanta Tripura, Rahmat Mia; Emon Mahmud, Masuk Mia Jony (Javed Khan – sub), Biplo Ahmed, Rabiul Hasan (Md Ibrahim – sub); Tawhidul Alam Sabuz (Matin Miah – sub), Nabib Newaz Ziban.