Sri Lanka’s MMM Mushfir and Bangladesh’s Mohamed Foysal Ahmed Fahim (right) in action during a Group B match of the SAFF U-18 Championship at the Halchowk Stadium in Kathmandu on Saturday. Photo Courtesy: ANFA
KATHMANDU, Sept 22: Bangladesh U-18 football team has started the ongoing SAFF U-18 Championship on a positive note with a 3-0 victory over Sri Lanka in Kathmandu on Saturday.
At the Armed Police Force (APF) Club’s Halchowk Stadium, Bangladesh scored a goal in the first half and added two more in the second period. With both the teams to play a match more, Bangladesh leads the Group B table with three points. Bangladesh who was dominating from the start of the game scored an early goal in the first minute as Mohammed Tanbir Hossain headed a corner to give his side a lead.
Sri Lanka, pressurized after the early goal, opted for a defensive tactics and launched counter-attacks, but was heavily unsuccessful. Despite hitting good free-kicks in the first half, it could not score due to good saves from Bangladesh keeper Shanto Kumar Ray.
Sri Lanka looked balanced near the end of the second half with attacking football, but could not get a consolation. Bangladesh had scored its second goal of the game in the 77th minute as Mohammed Famim Morshed scoring for the team. Bangladesh sent the game into bed with four minutes remaining on the clock as Mohamed Foysal Ahmed Fahim scored Bangladesh’s third. Both the teams have strong opponent India still to face, and the fate of the group might change as Bangladesh will play against India on Monday before Sri Lanka takes on India on Wednesday.
A total of six teams are taking part in the tournament being divided into two groups and Nepal will face Bhutan in its second and last Group A match on Sunday. Nepal played a 1-1 draw with Maldives in its first game, but it can reach the semifinals with a win over Bhutan. The Maldives will vie against Bhutan on Tuesday.
The top two teams of each group will reach the semifinals.