SAFF Suzuki Cup
Bangladesh dream shatter again losing to Nepal 0-2
Hosts Bangladesh’s dream shattered again in the seven –nation 12th SAFF Suzuki Cup as Nepal brought down high flying Bangladesh to the earth beating them by 2-0 goals in the last Group A match at the flood-light Bangabandhu National Stadium here on Saturday.
This was the 7th times and the 4th times in a row that Bangladesh eliminated from the group stage of the SAFF Championship since its inception in 1993.
By virtue of the day’s well merited victory, Nepal smartly qualified for the semifinal as the Group A champions along with group runners-up Pakistan at the coffin of the home side.
Nepal, which yet to reach final of the SAFF championship since its inception in 1993, to play the first semifinal with Group ‘B’ runners-up either Maldives or defending champions India on September 15.
On completion of Group A matches, three teams –Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh have secured six points each, but by virtue of the better goal difference (6-2) Nepal emerged group champions, Pakistan finished group runners (5-2) scoring more goal the Bangladesh (3-2).
Bangladesh started their campaign in the tournament with a 2-0 win against Bhutan before a solitary goal victory against Pakistan while Nepal lost the first game 1-2 to Pakistan and returned to the race with a 4-0 goals win against Bhutan.
Experienced custodian Shahidul Alam Sohel was partly responsible for conceding the first goal in the 33rd minute as a long distance free kick of Nepalese striker Bimal Gharti Magar kissed the net slipping from grip from Bangladesh custodian, silencing the house-full local crowd.
Substitute forward Nawayuk Shreshtha sealed the fate of the match scoring the 2nd goal for Himalayan nation Nepal in the 90th minute by a right footed running placing shot from danger zone beating Bangladesh defender in speed (2-0) forcing home side to eliminate from group stage for the 4th successive occasion.