Friday, December 11, 2009

India-Maldives final tomorrow: Bangladesh crash out of SAFF Championship

Bangladesh's hope to play the final of the Bangabandhu 6th SAFF Championship was shattered as they suffered a 0-1 goal defeat to India in the second semifinal at the Bangabandhu National Stadium (BNS) here Friday.

India will now play the high voltage SAFF final Sunday against the holders Maldives, which earlier confirmed their final berth eliminating Sri Lanka in the day's other semifinal at the same venue.

The final kicks off at 7:30 pm. State-owned Bangladesh Television (BTV) will telecast live the match.

In the day's match, Indian skipper Sushil Kumar Singh scored the all-important goal for India in the 62nd minute with a ground shot four yards from the D-box after taking a close pass from his fellow Rebert Lalthlamuana, leaving the jam-packed stadium in a mood of despair.

Thousands of Bangladesh supporters came to cheer their team on the weekend, but they had to leave the big bowl in frustration after the final whistle.

Three times SAFF champion India today clearly dominated Bangladesh in the whole proceeding and played a better football compared to their previous group three matches. But the hosts ultimately could not come back.

India launched the first attack in the 19th minute as Rebert Lalthlamuana header off Denzil free kick from danger zone went beside the sidebar.

He again took a powerful free kick from 10 yards form the goal bar, but this time Bangladesh custodian Aminul brilliantly fisted the ball.

Aminul again foiled the Indian attack when Jibon Sing took an angular shot from vantage position in the in the 39th minute.

Bangladesh got only a scoring chance in the 43rd minute, but Zahid Parvez powerful shot from outside the danger zone was saved by dependable Indian custodian Arindam at a cost of corner.

In 2005 SAFF Championship in Karachi, India beat Bangladesh by 2-0 goal.

Yellow cards: Jibon and Rebert (India); Ariful (Bangladesh).


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