Sunday, 24 October, 2021

SAFF Champs: Bangladesh to play hosts Maldives Thursday night

SAFF Champs: Bangladesh to play hosts Maldives Thursday night

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Bangladesh national football team will play upper ranked and hosts Maldives in their 3rd match of the five-nation SAFF Championship-2021 at the National Football Stadium in the Maldives capital Male on Thursday night.

T-Sports will telecast live from the big bowl at 10 pm (Bangladesh Time).

In Thursday’s other match, former champions India will take on all losers Sri Lanka at 5 pm (BST) at the same venue.

Bangladesh remained unbeaten in ongoing meet securing four points from two matches after beating Sri Lanka 1-0 featuring a goal from defender Topu Banman in the first match and a 10-men Bangladesh, coming from behind, snatched an important point from their giant neighbor India in 1-1 draw, also featuring a goal from another defender Yeasin Arafat.

Himalayan nation Nepal dominated the meet securing full six points from two matches after beating hosts Maldives 1-0 and defeated Sri Lanka by 3-2 goal.

Former champions India are in the 3rd slot bagging one point from their lone match against Bangladesh. Sri Lanka and Maldives are yet to open the account playing two and one match respectively.

Thursday’s match will be equally important for both the teams. Bangladesh wants to brighten the final berth beating the Maldives while hosts Maldives seriously needed a win to keep their final berth alive.

It will be another acid test for the newly appointed Spanish interim Head Coach of Bangladesh national football team Oscar Bruzon after proving his worth in the first two matches.

In the remaining matches of the South Asian biggest soccer tournament Bangladesh will play hosts Maldives on Oct 7 at 10 pm and Nepal on Oct 13 at 5pm , both at the National Football Stadium in Male.

Two top teams of the five–nation meet will play the final on October 16 at the same venue.

The present record are not in favor of Bangladesh as they suffered three successive defeats against the Maldives in the last 18 years, featuring a 0-5 goal losses in the FIFA International friendly in Male in 2016.

Bangladesh beat the Maldives last in 2003 to win SAF Championship in Dhaka, beating the Maldives 1-0 in group stage and overcame them by 5-3 goals in tie-breaker in the final.

But in the initial stages, Bangladesh started campaign brilliantly beating the Maldives by 5-0 goal in the Kathmandu SAF Games in 1984 and crushed them again Maldives by 8-0 goal in the Dhaka SAF Games in 1985.

Ahead of the Thursday’s match, Bangladesh team made their practices at the Henveiru Training Pitch in Male Wednesday afternoon.

Three key players of Bangladesh team are likely to miss the Thursday’s match against the Maldives.  Defender Bishwanath Ghosh will miss the match for receiving red card, Rakib Hossain for two yellow cards and medio Atiqur Rahman Fahad is likely to miss the for his back injury.