Bangladesh's SAFF final hope shattered

Staff Reporter 2021-10-14, 12:24am Football

bangladeshs-saff-final-hope-shattered-d0608c85aad673426fe17b19776a33001634149444.jpg


DHAKA - Bangladesh's hope of playing the SAFF Championship final shattered when Nepal, came from behind, forced Bangladesh to

play 1-1 draw in the crucial match of SAFF Championship held today
(Wednesday) at National Football Stadium in Maldives.

   Despite taking early lead, Bangladesh were denied their victory when Nepal
staged a fight back in the crucial moment scoring a goal from a penalty
booking their ticket of final of the championship.

   The Himalaya Kingdom now will play the final match against the day's
second match winners' either defending champions India or host Maldives.

   The final match of the tournament will take place on October 16 at the
same venue.

   With the day's outcome, Nepal secured seven points from three matches to
move to the final while Bangladesh collected five points playing the same
number of matches.

   It was the do or die match. In this do or die match for both the teams,
Bangladesh had no alternative way but to win the match to go to the final,
however, Nepal needed only one point to go through. The Bangladeshi
supporters who came to support the Bangladesh team, were eagerly waiting to
celebrate the moment but their joy turned to nightmare when Bangladesh
conceded the goal two minute before the stipulated time.

   There was a festive atmosphere prevailing at the whole stadium as many
expatriate Bangladeshi supporters came to support the Bangladesh team.
Clinching the Bangladesh flags in the hands they chanted 'slogan'
'Bangladesh', 'Bangladesh' from the big bowl. The boys in red and green also
did not dismay the crowds as Suman Reza scored the goal in the beginning of
the match.

   Captain Jamal Bhuiyan took a free kick from the left side of the D-box
came in front of Sumon Raza after defecting an opponent player and Reza
perfectly sent the ball home with a close header giving Bangladesh a
deserving lead in the very ninth minute.

   Nepal came close of scoring in the 14th minute when Rohit Chand, despite
standing at a vantage position, failed to score off a close pass from Gautam
Shrestha.

   Nepal's had a good chance to level the margin in the 45+1st minute when
Ayush's header went a little wide from the pole off a cross from Rohit.

   After the breather, following a counter attack in the 55th minute, Suman
Reza ran down with his solo effort and took right footed shot from close
range but Nepal custodian foiled the attempt brilliantly.

   Nepal desperately tried to stage a fight back in the match. In the 60th
minute Anjan Bista took a brilliant volley but the ball went little wide from
the pole.

   Three minutes later, Bangladesh again got a chance to double the lead.
Following a free kick from Saad, Ibrahim took a header from the close range,
but it sailed harmlessly over the cross bar.

   Nepal finally staged a fight back in the match in the 88th minute from a
penalty. Midfielder Anjan Bista converted the spot kick with a perfect
finishing.

   Bangladesh's dependable custodian Zico, who was shown direct red card for
handling the ball outside the box in the 78th minute, was brilliant under the
bar as he foiled number of opponents attacks.

  Squads:

   Bangladesh XI-- Topu Barman, Jamal Bhuyan, Suman Reza, Biplo Ahmed,
Biswanath Ghosh, Anisur Rahman, Tareq Raihan Kazi, Mohammad Ibrahim, Tutul
Hossain Badsha, Rakib Hossain and Saad Uddin. Nepal XI - Kiran Chemjong,
Dinesh Rajbanshi, Ananta Tamang, Rohit Chand, Gautam Shrestha, Pujan
Uparkoti, Tej Tamang, Sujal Shrestha, Ayush Ghalan, Nawayug Shrestha and
Anjan Bista. Referee- R Akhrol (Uzbekistan). BSS