Bangladesh beat Nepal by 2-0 goals in the first match and took 1-0 lead in the two-match Mujib Barsho FIFA tier-1 international friendly series at Bangabandhu National Stadium in the capital on Friday.
Forward Nabib Newaz Ziban and substitute forward Mahbubur Rahman Sufil scored one goal each for the winning side. With the day’s feat, Bangladesh secured 14 wins, 2 draws and 5 defeats out of 20 matches against their South Asian neighbors.
Bangladesh continued their domination and created some close chances to extend their lead. In the 21st minute, Ibrahim narrowly missed the target when Ziban sent the ball to him inside the box with a low cross. Just after two minutes, veteran defender Topu Barman failed to connect another header off a long throw-in from defender Bishwanath Ghosh.
In the 23rd minute, a powerful long shot from defender Manik was smartly denied by Nepal goalkeeper-cum-captain Kiran Kumar Limbu. The touring side came alive and started to attack during the middle portion of the first half. But Bangladeshi defenders and debutant goalkeeper Anisur Rahman Zico smartly denied all their efforts. Another forward Sumon Reza made his debut for Bangladesh, but he was replaced by forward Mahbubur Rahman Sufil after the first half.
In the second half, Nepal tried hard to equalise the scoreline with their attacking football. Nepalese midfielder Ravishankar Paswan failed to send the ball home with his header in the 73rd minute while Bangladeshi custodian Zico denied a header from defender Ananta Tamang in the 78th minute.
In the 76th minute, Topu wasted a close chance to extend the margin while the home side was awarded with a free-kick just outside of the box. However, Sufil compensated for Topu as he extended the margin to 2-0 goals from a counter-attack in the 80th minute. The 23-year-old forward ran in with the ball from the midfield and brilliantly sent it into the net by leaving three Nepalese defenders aside.
Bangladesh made four replacements in the second half namely Atiqur Rahman Fahad replaced Captain Jamal Bhuiyan, Biplo Ahmed replaced Ziban, Sohel Rana replaced Manik, Yeasin Khan replaced Topu Barman. Nepal also made five replacements namely debutant Arik Bista replaced Ajit Bhandari, George Prince Karki replaced Nawayug Shrestha, Suvash Gurung replaced Anjan Bista, Bharat Khawas replaced Ravishankar and Darsan Gurung replaced Tej Tamang.
The second and last match of the series will be held at the same venue on Tuesday at 05:00pm. After the day’s match, Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) awarded national booters Tk 10 lakh.