Bangladesh secured another victory in their SAFF Suzuki Cup 2018 campaign as they defeated their Asian counterpart Pakistan by 1-0 goal in their Group A match on Thursday.
With the second consecutive win, hosts Bangladesh almost confirmed their semi-final spot for the SAFF tournament as they are leading the chart with six points and maximum goal difference than their other group opponents.The match took place in the floodlit Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka with gallery full of spectators coming from all strata of life to support the national heroes.
Bangladesh, with full three points from their first match, began the second match against their archrival Pakistan with furious attacks.
Bangladesh’s intention to win was visible from their body language in the field. But the boys in red and green were missing the link between their midfield to attacking zone.
Their skipper Jamal Bhuiyan and senior players Waly Faisal and Mamunul Islam were dominating the midfield but Pakistan managed to clear the ball most of the times before Bangladesh penetrate through visiotors’ defence.
Pakistan’s forward Md Ali almost shocked Bangladesh spectators for a moment when he headed the ball directly to Bangladesh goalpost. It was Bangladesh goalkeeper Shahidul Alam’s reflex and instinct which saved the hosts in the 9th minute of the match.
Jamal had a little window of opportunity in the 17th minute of the match when he saw Pakistan’s defence scattered and volleyed the ball over Pakistan goalkeeper Yousuf Butt. But his shot flew over the top bar by few inches and the score remained 0-0.Bangladesh forward Saad Uddin got another chance in the 29th minute and took a long shot from the left wing. However, the ball got deflected by Pakistan defence and the tourists survived for another occasion.
With a series of nerve wrecking moments, the first half of the match ended goalless. The second half of the match also saw attacks from both sides with Bangladesh dominating most part of the field and Pakistan trying to find a way through counter attacks.
Bangladesh got closer to a score in the 68th minute when Waly’s cross from the left wing received by forward Masuk Miah Zony. Zony headed the ball directly to Pakistan’s post but missed the nets by few inches.
Pakistan were desperate to deny Bangladesh from a goal in the last few minutes as the home boys were pounding attacks after attacks in their side.
The most expected goal came for Bangladesh in the 85th minute. The star player of first match Topu Barman came into rescue Bangladesh once again when he headed the ball in Pakistan’s nets from a throw in.
The stadium, the Bangladesh dugout and their coach Jamie Day burst with joy when the boys gifted the nation a goal against Pakistan.
After delivering a terrific game, the victorious boys in red and green left the field with heads held high at the final whistle from the referee.
Hosts Bangladesh will take on Nepal in their last group match on Saturday at 7:00pm at the same venue.