Nepal sent host Bangladesh packing out of the SAFF Suzuki cup with a fighting 2-0 win in the last match of group A at the Bangabandhu National Stadium on September 8,Saturday.
The win saw Nepal , Pakistan and Bangladesh all locked in six points but due to the better goal difference Nepal emerged group champions and Pakistan runners-up.
In an enterprising opening minutes both the teams exchanged quick counter attacks with Mahbubur Rahman Sufil of Bangladesh and Bimal Gharti Magar of Nepal leading the attacks. The end to end games demonstrated fast and free flowing football.
Sufil tested Nepalese goalie Kiran Kumar Limbu with a long ranger in the 16th minute while Bimal Ghrati Magar saw his cracking grounder whistle past the sidepost in the 23rd minute.
However Nepal took the lead in an unexpected way in the 34th minute. It was a free kick about 35 yards out and Bimal Gharti Magar floated the ball to the Bangladesh post, Bangladesh goalie Shahidul Alam Sohel who have a habit of losing aerial balls committed the blunder again, the ball appeared normal with a looping in mode but Sohel lost the grip and it landed into the middle of the net (1-0). Back in 2011 at New Delhi , then Nepalese skipper Sagar Thapa also beat Sohel with a free kick from the midfield.
Bangladesh went to the dressing room in a demoralized mode while Nepal was still relishing the moment during the half time.
Seven minutes after the resumption Bangladesh coach Jamie Day intensified his attack sending in two fresh attackers in Sohel Rana and Shakhwat Hossain Rony in search of the equalizer.
However, Bangladesh was fortunate not to concede the second in the 54thminute. Bharat Khawas produced a superb footwork to go past his marker in the left edge of the box and unleashed a left footer that was punched by a diving Sohel, Nirajan Khadka blasted the rebound over the crosspiece.
Bangladesh’s effort fell flat as the hosts lacked a clinical finisher. Rony saw his header taken from the middle of the box land at the roof the net in the 70th minute.
Nepal determined to keep the fort intact packed its defence with more players making life harder for Bangladesh attackers. Rony finding it hard to sneak in tried a left footer from 20 yards out but saw the ball sail over the crosspiece.
Sohel pulled out a good save diving to his right to deny Sunil Bal in the 87th minute.
Sunil Bal and Nawjug Shreshta put the last nail in the coffin in the 90th minute of the match when Sunil send a nice through from the midfield and Nawjug, the substitute beat Sohel with a flat footed tap bringing a deep silence in the packed stadium (2-0).