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26 January, 2020 00:00 00 AM
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Palestine dump Burundi to retain title

Burundi’s Jospin adjudged best player and highest scorer
Sports Reporter, Dhaka
Palestine dump Burundi to retain title
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina hands over the Bangabandhu Gold Cup trophy to Palestine captain Sameh Maraama after the final at Bangabandhu National Stadium in the capital yesterday. Focus Bangla photo

Palestine retained the title of the Bangabandhu Gold Cup International Football Tournament in style when they brought down high-flying Burundi to earth with a 3-1 win in the final at Bangabandhu National Stadium in the capital yesterday.

The battle of Asian and African sides in the final turned exciting right after the kick-off with the former scoring two goals inside 10 minutes and making it 3-0 before the half-hour mark of the game. The defending champions Palestine, who won first two matches with 2-0 clear margin against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, were not impressive at early hour and despite playing better.

Burundi struggled much to cross Seychelles hurdle to make final berth, as they moved into the final with a solitary goal win and also experienced bitter experiences in the final. The reigning champions Palestine appeared with different characters in the final match almost ensuring the victory making the score-sheet 3-0 before half an hour mark of the game.

On the other hands the impressive Burundi guaranteed the final demonstrating their strength with outshining all their opponents including hosts with scoring 10 goals in three matches. But the African saw a big blow very early in the game conceding two goals inside 10 minutes and could not triumph over Palestine but to concede another goal and reducing one playing with almost one-sided possessions after 35th minute of the match up to final whistle.

Burundi on the day failed to deliver the momentum following superb runs of league phase when they made strong bounce back after conceding early goals against Mauritius and Seychelles to down them by 4-1 and 3-1.  However, Khaled Salem put Palestine ahead on third minute slamming home a perfect cross of Sameh Maraama when the captain broke the off-side trap to receive the ball from midfield before releasing a perfect cross for onrushing striker, who scored his third goal in the tournament (1-0).

Giving no time to Burundi to be organised, Palestine doubled the advantage on 10th minute and this time captain (Maraama) himself struck taking the slip up of Burundi goalkeeper who could not fully clear a corner when his fist dropped inside the area (2-0). Palestine continued the headway throwing stalwart challenges from the muscular Burundi and keeping up the sequence to take clear lead on 25th minute through Layth Kharoub.

Layth Kharoub, who scored the all important goal in the late hour of semifinal to bring Palestine in the final, confirmed the victory to lift the Bangabandhu Gold Cup  title for successive second time. Burundi, who were bewildered after conceding very unexpected three goals before 30 minutes of the game, did not give up the battle and worked hard to fight back and played with clear dominance almost up to 90 minutes.

But the hard working Burundi could break the Palestine’s defense for once on 60th minute following two missing on 39th minute and 53rd with Jospin efforts denied by goalkeeper. The first attempt of Jospin, the highest scorer of the tournament with seven goals, took a fantastic volley when Mohammed Darwish fed him the ball from outside the box.

But the Palestine goalkeeper Tawfiq Abuhammad, who was adjudged the best goalkeeper of the tournament for conceding only one goal, brilliantly save the Jospin’s close range shot on 39th. But the winner of the highest scorer and the man of the tournament prize, Jospin wasted his second attempt just shot the ball straight to keeper.

Prime Sheikh Hasina distributed prizes among the winners as chief guest after the final. The Prime Minister enjoyed full second half of the final and handed over all the prizes. Palestine apart from winning a glittering championship trophy also received $30,000 as prize money, while Burundi got $20,000.

 

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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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