• Thursday, Feb 20, 2020
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Bangladesh beat Bhutan 5-2 in Saff U-15 opener

  • Published at 03:06 pm August 23rd, 2019
Bangladesh's Mohammad Azizul Hoque Ananto controls the ball during their Saff U-15 Championship opener against Bhutan in India Friday BFF

Bangladesh beat Pakistan on penalties in the final of the previous edition and got their title defence off to a brilliant start

Reigning champion Bangladesh kicked off their Saff U-15 Championship 2019 campaign with a dominating 5-2 victory over Bhutan at Kalyani Stadium in the Nadia district of West Bengal, India Friday.

Bangladesh beat Pakistan on penalties in the final of the previous edition and got their title defence off to a brilliant start.

The first half was evenly contested as five of the total seven goals were scored; Bangladesh going into the break with a 3-2 lead.

Thereafter, the boys in red and green ran away with the tie in the second half, adding two more goals.

Bangladesh forward Al Mirad opened the scoring at the quarter-hour mark following a long throw-in, but their delight lasted just two minutes as Bhutan defender Phub Dorji brought parity, heading home a cross. 

Forward Al Amin Rahman put Bangladesh ahead again four minutes later with a placing shot from a free-kick.

Bhutan however, equalized again in the 32nd minute through Sonam Chozang, who capitalized on a mistake by Bangladesh goalkeeper Mohammad Sabbir Gazi.

Midfielder Shuvo Sarkar came off the bench in the 43rd minute and gave his side the lead again within two minutes with a volley as Bangladesh found it easier to penetrate the Bhutan defence at the latter stage of the game.

Mirad scored a brilliant goal in the 83rd minute to extend the lead, before substitute midfielder Emon Islam Babu netted the fifth from a free-kick in injury time to seal victory.

Bangladesh coach Mostafa Anwar Parvez expressed delight after the game.

He said, “For any team, victory is the most important thing. If the margin of victory is big, all the better. We played well. It is really hot. It would have been better had we not conceded. We leaked goals due to mistakes by the defence and keeper. Hope we play better in the upcoming matches.

“We had to adapt to the weather and the field. These are all young players. We have to give them time. Considering that it was our first match, I’m happy.

“Actually, it is tough to play your natural game amid this hot weather. The young players tried to acclimatize. A few even suffered from dehydration. Hope the boys will recover soon.” 

Bangladesh will take on Sri Lanka in their second game at the same venue Sunday, before facing Nepal and India Tuesday and Thursday respectively.

The top two teams in the five-side standing will contest the grand finale next Saturday.