Hosts Bangladesh opened their SAFF Championship 2018 campaign with a controlled 2-0 win over Bhutan in the second game of the day at the Bangabandhu National Stadium on Tuesday, September 4.
Bangladesh was charged up with an early strike in the very third minute off a penalty strike Waly Faisal’s swerving corner from the right hand flag landed into the middle of the box where midfielder Atikur Rahman Fahad was pushed to the ground by the Bhutani defence resulting in a penalty, defender Topu Barman made no mistake to send the big home crowd exploding into wild celebration (1-0)
Bangladesh’s speedy style of play pushed Bhutan to the backfoot presenting the hosts a couple of opportunities within a short of time. Forward Mahbubur Rahman Sufil fed by Masuk Mia Johnny with a precise through saw Bhutanese goalie Tshering Dendup alone under the woodwork, Sufil shot straight to the custodian who fisted it to safety.
However Bhutan dominated the next half hour with some enterprising football with their fast moving game. Bangladesh defence had to absorb a hectic time to deal with the pressure. Midfielder Nima Wangdy headed straight to Bangladesh goalie Sohel in the 18th minute, Chencho Gyaltsen, the Bhutanese talisman capitalizing on a gaffe of Bangladesh defender Tutul Hossain Badshah shot wide from a close range much to the relief of host tent.
Bangladesh left winger Biplu Ahmed twice sent the chill through the Bhutan spine in the 28th and 35th minute but his drive on the first occasion rocketed over the crosspiece and the second one was brilliantly punched by Dendup.
Bangladesh’s steady approach saw them finish on the solitary goal lead at the end of the first half.
Just like the first half Bangladesh struck again in the opening minutes of the second half. Five minutes after the re-start a precise buildup between Atkur Rahman Fahad and Sufil saw Bangladesh dent Bhutanese hopes. Fahad after moving a few steps cut a chip in the path of onrushing Sufil who hit the far post net with an angular right footer 2-0.
Bangladesh played a holding game most of the remaining time and Bhutan appeared run out of steam as Bangladesh celebrated the victory.