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18 January, 2020 03:13:20 AM
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Palestine first to reach semis

Fighting Sri Lanka go down by two injury time goals
SPORTS REPORTER, Dhaka
Palestine first to reach semis
The two goal scorers of Palestine team Khaled Salem (R) and Mahmoud Abuwarda celebrate after beating Sri Lanka 2-0 in their Bangabandhu Gold Cup Football match at Bangabandhu National Stadium in the capital yesterday. BFF Photo

In an injury time thriller Palestine downed Sri Lanka by 2-0 to book their semifinal berth as the first team of the Bangabandhu Gold Cup International Football tournament. Palestine though predictably won the match but had to struggle much throughout 90 minutes time when Mahmoud Abuwarda and Khaled Salem just gave a great relief to the defending champions scoring each in a span of three minutes in the six minutes added time.

Palestine’s 2-0 win means Bangladesh will have to win their last group match against Sri Lanka to qualify in the semifinal, as the holders (Palestine) defeated Bangladesh by same margin (2-0) in their opening match.  Now, if the match between Bangladesh, Sri Lanka will be ended on a draw then the result will be decided by tie-breaker.    

On the day Palestine played with their usual strategy with excellent build-up play which started from defense, pressed forward and midfielder Dawoud Iraqi’s through pass found captain on the right who muscled his way into the danger area before firing a low drive with Sri Lankan goalkeeper Arunasiri saved it with his stretching foot.  But on the returned ball Reebal Dahamshi trying to take back volley but failed to perfect being very closer to the post on eight minute.

Palestine, who led the first half against Bangladesh in the opening match with scoring on 29th minute, tried heart and soul and despite playing at the Sri Lankan area for almost opening full 90 minutes, but failed to break the Nizam Pakker Ali six’ men defense. Packeer Ali, head coach of Sri lanka, very known face to Bangladeshi football fans when the Lankan former international defender played for a long time in Bangladesh league for Abahani Limited.  

Packeer Ali taking extreme defensive strategy organised the area with six constant defenders and sometimes holding midfielder and wingers also joined with the defenders.  However, Palestine kept their tempo of the game stayed the same attacking approach in the second half also with trying their best to break the deadlock, but despite all came closer for several times, could not find the net in the stipulated 90 minutes time.

Palestine, who did everything but to score a goal in 90 minutes, as all of their endeavors were spoiled by either defenders or the goalkeeper.  But in the injury period the favourites proved their tag with scoring two goals when Mahmoud Abuwarda broke the deadlock on third minute and Khaled Salem sealed the victory just seconds before the final whistle (2-0).

EA

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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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