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Dhaka Tribune

Hosts, Oman set up exciting final

Update : 22 Mar 2014, 05:33 PM

Bangladesh cruised into the first place decider of the Islami Bank Asian Games Hockey Qualifiers with a hard fought victory as they beat Sri Lanka 3-0 in the tie-breakers after the stipulated time ended 2-2 at the Maulana Bhashani National Hockey Stadium yesterday.

Sabbir Hossain, Krishna Kumar and Sarwar Hossain converted the tie-breakers while Mainul Islam Koushik was the only one who missed. Bangladesh goalkeeper Ashim Gope successfully foiled the attempts from Sri Lanka’s Tharanga Irosha, Sandaruwan Priyalanka and Lahiru Gihan Weersooriya with timely onrush and dives.

Bangladesh will play Oman in the title decider at 3:15pm today while Sri Lanka and Singapore will fight for the 3rd-4th place.

Meanwhile, Chinese Taipei and Iran will play the 5th-6th place decider and Qatar and Hong Kong China will compete with each other in the 7th-8th place decider today. Qatar and Hong Kong are the teams eliminated from the path of the Asian Games.

Sri Lanka took the lead in the 20th minute through a combined attack. Rajita Dilan Kulathunga made the hard work in the right flank and pushed a square pass to Damith Madhusanka who coolly netted the ball past Gope.

At the stroke of half-time Bangladesh came close to equalise but  skipper Mamunur Rahman Chayan’s drag bounced back from the cross post. Chayan failed to score from six penalty corners overall in the game.

However, Bangladesh restored the parity in the 43rd minute off a penalty stroke. After a tricky penalty corner, Nannu’s slap hit was struck in the hand of Sri Lankan defender Tharnaga Irosha resulting a penalty which was converted by Pushkor Khisha Mimo.

In the 61st minute Rabbi Salehin flicked a powerful hit of Chayan in the Sri Lankan post. Forwards Mainul Islam Koushik and Hasan Jubaer Niloy squandered easy chances in the dying minutes and allowed Sri Lanka to counter attack. Sri Lanka equalised through Lahiru Gihan Weerosooriya’s strike in the 63rd minute from a penalty. Gope’s brilliance in the tie-breaker was enough to judge him as man of the match.

Bangladesh coach Naveed Alam looked helpless watching his forwards misfiring and said, “It’s the same story of too much rush, it’s not that they are failing to penetrate but they can’t finish their jobs, maybe a little luck would have changed the scenario.”

After two body and mind wrecking matches against Iran and Sri Lanka, Bangladesh will find it hard to deal the pressure of Oman today.

Meanwhile in the other match of the day Chinese Taipei beat Hong Kong China 6-2, Iran thrashed Qatar 7-1 with forward Taheridad Navid slamming the second hat-trick of the tournament while Oman beat Singapore 4-0.


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