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Thursday, January 14, 2016, Magh 1, 1422 BS, Rabius Sani 2, 1437 Hijri

Bangabandhu Gold Cup
Tigers one step away from semis
Sports Reporter
Published :Thursday, 14 January, 2016,  Time : 12:00 AM  View Count : 25
Bangladesh National Football Team, the Bengal Tigers, was on a safer way to the semi-finals after a 1-1 draw against the defending champions Malaysia in their second group match of the Bangabandhu gold Cup-2016 on Wednesday at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka.
Following the draw, Bangladesh topped the group with four points from two matches while Nepal placed second with same four points. Malaysians were at the third place with two points when the Lankans were languishing at the bottom line with zero points.
That way, if the Bengal Tigers can win their next match against Nepal then they will directly qualify for the semi-final round.
Yet a draw in the next match can make the boys move to the next round, there remains a rough calculation of goal-difference after that match.
In the match on Wednesday, Malaysia boys played the first half better while the Bengal boys dominated the second half.
The defending champions were quite near to take the lead in the seventh minute of the match. The Malaysians were awarded a freekick at the time although their midfielder M Syahid Zaidon's freekick was gripped by Bangladesh custodian Ashraful Islam Rana.
Malaysians midfielder Ahmad Syamim Yahya took a fierce shot towards the post and Bangladesh custodian Ashraful again saved the post for a corner in the eight minute.
The red and green outfits could open the net in the 19th minute. Their midfielder Zahid entered from the right flank and tried to pass the ball to Hemonta near the post. But, opponent defender M Aizul Ridzwan attempted to clear the ball in the halfway and the ball was bounced on the defender's leg before flying over the crosspiece.
In the 31st minute, Bangladesh were given two penalty corners in a row but failed to utilise any.
Bengal custodian Ashraful fisted a powerful head of Malaysia midfielder Ahmad in the 34th minute and saved his castle.
Malaysia could go ahead in the 41st minute but apparently luck didn't favour them. Their defender Nor Fazly Alias's shot was bounded on the crosspiece when Bangladesh custodian was grounded and Zahid quickly sent the ball into the midfield with a bicycle kick.
Malaysia successfully scored the goal in the 55th minute with midfielder Muhammad Hadin converted a pass of defender Hasni Zaidi Jamian into the post.
Bangladesh restored the parity in the 77th minute. Receiving a cross of right winger Zahid, substitute striker Mithun Chowdhury netted the ball to score the equaliser.
However, excited Mithun was shown a yellow card for pulling off the jersey after scoring the goal then.
In the 86th minute, Zahid of Bangladesh entered the danger box of the opponent from the left and took a long cross that flew wide over the crosspiece.
Zahid squandered a freekick at the eleventh hour of the match.
Bangladesh custodian Ashraful Islam Rana was named the man-of-the-match.

Today's matches
The Bengal Tigers will take on Nepal Boys in the last match of the group round on Friday at 6:30 pm at the same venue. The Malaysians will also play the Lankans in their last match of the group at 3:00 pm in the same day.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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