SAFF Under-15 Championship: Bangladesh rout Maldives 9-0 to qualify for semis

Bangladesh U15s celebrate scoring goal against Maldives U15s at ANFA Complex, Kathmandu, Nepal.

Bangladesh underlined their status as one of the favourites to lift the title of fifth SAFF Under-15 Championship when they outclassed Maldives 9-0 in their opening match of Group A at the ANFA Complex, Kathmandu on Saturday, October 27, 2018.

Nihat Jaman Ucchash completed a first half hat-trick before finishing with four goals while Rasel Ahmed and Ashikur Rahman scored two goals each as Bangladesh eliminated Maldives from the tournament to book their place in the semi-final.

Mahedi Hasan scored the other goal for the winners.

Bangladesh’s win also ensured a semi-final spot for hosts Nepal, who beat Maldives 4-0 in the first match of Group A on Thursday, October 25, 2018.

Bangladesh and Nepal will now play for group decider on Monday, October 29, 2018 at the same venue with the match starting at 2:30pm local time.

Knowing that a mere win would enough for them to move into the last four, Bangladesh went for all out attack from the start and did not have to wait too long for scoring.

Ucchash tapped home in an empty net to open the scoring in the 11th minute before he doubled the margin with a brilliant solo goal nine minutes later.

Receiving a pass in the right corner Ucchash dodged two defenders before he fired an unstoppable shot with his right-foot to leave Maldives players bewildered.

The striker completed his hat-trick in 23rd minute capitalising on a miss pass before Mahedi joined the scoring spree in the injury time of first half.

Ucchash scored his fourth goal after the resumption before two each goals by Rasel and Ashikur in the second half completed the rout.

Pakistan beat Bhutan 4-0 in the day’s opening match to become the first team to qualify for the semi-finals.