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11 October, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Palestine reserve final berth

Bangladesh give a good account of themselves
Md Anwar Ullah, from Cox’s Bazar
Palestine reserve final berth
An overlapping Bangladesh defender Biswanath Ghosh (L) tries to beat Yazan Waiwi of Palestine during their Bangabandhu Gold Cup Football Tournament semifinal match Bir Sreshtha Ruhul Amin Stadium in Cox’s Bazar yesterday. BFF PHOTO

Palestine booked the final berth in the Bangabandhu Gold Cup International Football Tournament when they blanked Bangladesh by 2-0 at the Bir Sreshtha Ruhul Amin Stadium in Cox’s Bazar.   

Mohammed Balah struck early in the eighth minute and Sameh Maraaba scored the second goal at the eleventh hour of the match to bring Palestine into final.  The winners will now meet Tajikistan in the final on October 12 at Bangabandhu National Stadium in the capital. Bangladesh though failed to win the match but was no less than convincing on home soil thanks to some brilliant performance while if they could capitalise the chances  the result might have been  a different.

However, it was predictable that Palestine would win the match but was unexpected that they would make the breakthrough too early from an ordinary move down the right. Musa Battat set a cross inside the area and Mohammed Balah finished it well.  

Mohammed Balah, a well-built tall forward easily beat the Bangladesh defenders to send his header on the right cross into the far post giving no chance to goalkeeper Rana (1-0).

Being an underdog, the hosts were better to exhibit their potential when in the first half they dug in well, controlled the game and dominated, but have not been successful in front of goal and ultimately suffered defeat.  

It was assumed before the match that Palestine would play one-sided game but in reality the picture was very much different when the possession was shared almost evenly with Palestine 51 per cent and Bangladesh 49. The hosts opened better scoring chances but were ill-fated not to get goal against the strong side, who were physically very tough.   

Palestine, apart from some strong attacks, scoring a goal and another attempt thudded against the crossbar on 10th minute, could not create any real chance in the first half. But, Bangladesh boys could change the score-sheet if they could utilise the almost three open net opportunities they produced.             

Bangladesh produced two back to back chances from which they could have banged  the equalizer but Biplu and Zibon could not mark the targets.

With a sharp move on 21st minute Bangladesh fabricated the way to have the equaliser but Biplu Ahmed wasted the opportunity after an excellent exchange with Zibon, as the former shot the ball outside the post.  

The golden opportunity came to Zibon way to have the equalizer on 23rd minute but the forward was very much shaky failing to push the ball into an open net when the Palestine goalkeeper came out leaving post open.  Zibon having the ball possession went into open space  but failed to keep his cool and shot the ball on the side-post rather than empty net.

Bangladesh boys, who were really played well in the full first half, had the last occasion in the first minute of the injury time but Zibon again shot the ball into side net when he entered into the open space in the box and had only goalkeeper in front of him.

Bangladesh trailing by 0-1, did not leave the battle without challenge when in the second half also they went closer first to score goals when Biswanath Ghosh floated a cross inside the area and Zibin failed to contact his header being in a good position inside the area.

Rest of the time Palestine had better domination and put Bangladesh  under tremendous  pressure and also opened spaces for three times to increase the tally but some of silly mistakes from the forward they failed to add more goals.

In the added period after 90 minutes stipulated time, substitute Sameh Maraaba, who replaced the first goal scorer for Palestine sealed the victory for the team when he was left unmarked inside the area comfortably sent the ball into near post (2-0).

But the local boys did not disappoint the crowds with demonstrating very positive game, as they conveyed their congratulation with screaming throughout 90 minutes time.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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