POST TIME: 9 September, 2018 00:00 00 AM
Nepal rout Bangladesh 2-0 in SAFF Suzuki Cup
Sports Reporter

Nepal rout Bangladesh 2-0 in SAFF Suzuki Cup

A Nepalese player foils a Bangladesh goal move with a header during their SAFF Suzuki Cup match at Bangabandhu National Stadium in the capital yesterday. BFF Photo

Nepal stormed into the semifinals shattering the Bangladesh hopes in the SAFF Suzuki Cup Football Championship yesterday when they shocked the hosts 2-0 at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in the capital. It was certainly awful for Bangladesh as they failed to qualify for the semis despite winning their first two matches and needed only a draw against Nepal to advance.  Nepal buried all the equations to move into the semifinals as the Group A champions, winning two matches in a row after they bounced back strongly following their 2-0 first match defeat to Pakistan . They trounced Bhutan by 4-0 in the second match and shocked Bangladesh in the third, eliminating the hosts in the group stage in their must win game yesterday.

Bangladesh came out of the opening whistle with a very high press, and it seemed to trouble the Nepalese from the start. But the visitors began to figure things out and were trying to respond equally with counter moves. The hosts, however, had a better control over the ball, despite being unable to put any shot on target.

The first attack was from Biplu Ahmed’s straight to Mahbubur Rahman Sufil who over-committed on the flank, and his cross found Saad Uddin in the area, who had drifted back from an oblivious Mamunul on 11th minute.  

Bangladesh nearly grabbed a goal in their second opportunity as Sufil again edged past defender, this time cutting inside, he entered into the box, but fumbled at the penalty spot. The hosts saw a huge setback when Bharat Gharti stunned the packed up gallery as he struck with a long range free kick. Bangladesh goalkeeper Shahidul Alam Sohel made a blunder, as he just looked on, awarding the goal to Nepal on the 33rd minute.

Judging by the shot, it was a very ordinary free kick from Bimal Gharti from 35 yards, which went to Sohel but the experienced goalkeeper appeared shaky, as he could not grip the ball perfectly or fist it as the ball came straight at him and went into the net touching his gloves (1-0).

After conceding the goal, Bangladesh looked a bit disorganised for a while but regained their tempo. Despite numerous attempts to find an equalizer, no results could be produced and the hosts went to the dressing room with 0-1 behind in the first half.

With no substitutions for either side at halftime, Bangladesh came out of the break with the stronger resolve. Biplu Ahmed toasted his marker down the right, and nearly found Sufil but his poor movement killed off the chance.

Yet again, Sufil beat defender Ananta Tamang on 58th minutes – this time through the middle – and fed a delightful pass to Sohel Rana. But Rana was slow to reach the ball that was eventually cleared off the danger area by Aditya Chaudhury right on the doorstep.

The hosts had their best chance down the other end on the half-hour mark of the second half as Jamal crossed for Sufil, but his promising shot was blocked.

The corners Bangladesh found resulted cool clearances by the opponent’s defenders on the 68th minute. First a Masuk Meah Jony shot on a delicious cross from Saad Uddin, and again it went out for a corner. Jony had a massive second chance, but Nepal custodian Kiron Kumar Limbu came off his line to prevent his shot.

A fourth corner again came sizzling in, but Topu Barman couldn’t get his header to it and instead found himself shaken up on the turf. As the game moved closer to the 90 minute mark, Bangladesh were desperate to find an equaliser that would take the hosts to the semis. However, taking the chance of a counterattack, Nepal hit back a second time on the 86th minute when Subattute Nawayd Sreshtha beat keeper Sohel one on one situation, placing the ball into net (2-0).