Bangladesh defeated Bhutan 3-1 in the final group stage game of the prestigious SAFF Championship 2023. They came from 1-0 down to score 3 goals and win the clash. They also qualified for the Semi-Final against Kuwait on July 1st at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium, Bengaluru. Bangladesh reached their first Semi-Final after 14 years in this competition. Bhutan returned back to their home with zero victories in their three respective games.
Bhutan kept the possession and Bangladesh hit them on the counters, a simple first-half story from Bhutan vs Bangladesh clash. Nagmyel came up with the early goal for Bhutan in the 12th minute of the game. A perfect assist from their best player, Dorji, and Nagmyel buried that into the back of the net. The Bangladeshi players didn't lose their hope and came up with a brilliant equalizer in the 21st minute. It didn't take them long to come up with another one as Bhutan's Jigme scored an own goal. Bangladesh got the lead in the 30th minute and the heads were down for the Bhutanese players. Jigme was also substituted after Bangladesh struck another one. A comeback to remember for them. It was none other than Rakib Hossain who didn't waste the opportunity. The first half ended with a 3-1 scoreline in favour of Bangladesh.
The second half was pretty boring in comparison to the first one. Not a single goal came in the half although Bhutan tried to score at least one but they failed miserably. Bangladesh didn't have to do anything as they just sit back and relaxed for the whole 45 minutes. Bhutan took a total of 12 shots and 3 were on target but it didn't scare the Bangladesh backline as they did a great job. Bhutan kept the majority of the possessions and didn't allow Bangladesh to get hold of the ball. That was surely the instruction from the manager but still, they failed to score any goal in the second half. The match ended with a 3-1 scoreline and Bangladesh qualified for the semi-final of the SAFF Championship after 14 years.
"The first 20 minutes were very good. After that, they lost concentration and we conceded, "Bhutan's coach said in the post-match conference.
"We are very happy for the team, for them, for the players because the matches have been very difficult. A lot of criticism many times, not anyway or any argument behind that should the other ones," Bangladesh's coach in the post-match conference. "Now we like to face that kind of tough challenges, but we will fight face to face and then we keep on going with the planning extremely important assignments in October with the World Cup qualifiers."
Bangladesh coach Cabrera also opened up about what kind of support he wants from the Bangladesh football federation for the future. "Now say, if we did one of these guys might come and we had zero media in a sense and media has a huge power to bring everyone together with positivity, support the national team, and that the players have definitely been dating that and that investment. It's not that difficult, it's not that it's very special to be all together."
The players are out of the tunnel. The game is all set to begin.
The first half begins at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium, Bengaluru.
The first corner of the game
Namgyel breaks the deadlock with a fantastic finish assisted by Dorji
Bhuyan delivers the corner kick but nothing comes out of it.
Morsalin smashes the ball into the target and scores the equalizer.
Jamal delivers the shot and Rakib Hussain's connection and Jigme with an own goal.
The brilliant effort there from Rakib. He makes it three from a zero-angle shot.
It ends 3-1 in favour of Bangladesh
The second half begins as Bangladesh gets us underway.
The Bhutanese players are keeping the bowl. They are not allowing Bangladesh to get possession.
The offside flag is up against Shekh Morsalin
Final 15 minutes of the game
Crucial defensive block by Ghosh. Dorji was on his way with a fantastic run but Ghosh comes in with a great sliding tackle.
Rafikul Islam with a fabulous effort but Bhutan's defence was prepared for the interception.
Sohel Rana is stretched out from the field for a possible ankle injury.