Bangladesh National Football team reached the semifinal of the 4th Bangabandhu Gold Cup International Football Tournament as Group-A champion after playing goalless draw with Nepal in their last group match at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in the capital on Friday.
After the day’s result, both Bangladesh and Nepal earned five points each from three matches, but Bangladesh clinched the group title by virtue of better goal difference. Bangladesh will face Group-B runners-up in the first semifinal on Monday while Group-A runners-up Nepal will play the 2nd semifinal against the Group-B champions on Tuesday.
In the day's match, Bangladesh started with 4-3-3 formation for an attacking football and created pressure on the opponent from the very beginning with 61 percent ball possession up in the first 10 minutes. Finally, visiting Nepal took the possession upto 52 percent.
In the 84th minute, a shot of Monayem Khan Raju went over the crosspiece from the middle of the box in a one-to-one situation off a Rony cross. Bangladesh had an opportunity in the 58th minute as the midfielder Hemanta Vincent delivered neat through from right flank to Rony, but was cleared by Nepalese goalie as Rony fell short by a yard.
In the 43rd minute, Bangladesh midfielder Jamal Bhuiyan's goal-bound pace bounced off to the feet of forward Nabib Newaj Jibon off a corner of captain Mamunul Islam.
Nepal hit back with a series of counter attacks and in the 27th minute earned a free kick at the top of the box. Nepalese defender Aditya Chowdhury curled the ball straight to the hands of Bangladesh goalie Ashraful Islam Rana.
Bangladesh could score in the 14th minute. Midfielder Jamal Bhuiyan curved a cross to forward Shakhawat Hossain Rony, but his left footer drive was fisted away by Nepal goalie. In the third minute, Nasiruddin delivered a long cross to Yeasin Khan, but Yeashin's shot was too far to deceive Nepal goalie Bikesh Kuthu, according to UNB. -Mithun
Points Table: Group A
Rank Teams Played Wins Draw Lost Points
1 Bangladesh 3 1 2 0 5
2 Nepal 3 1 2 0 5
3 Sri Lanka 3 1 0 2 3
4 Malaysia 3 0 2 1 2