Bangladesh and Nepal advanced into the semi-finals from Group ‘A’ in the SAFF U-15 Championship with a match in hand after the former ran riot over Maldives with a 9-0 victory at the ANFA Complex, Satdobato, on Saturday.
The result puts both Bangladesh and Nepal on three points each while Maldives, who were defeated 4-0 by Nepal on Thursday, crashed out from the three team group. Monday’s match between Nepal and Bangladesh will determine the group winners.
Bangladeshi forward Md Nihat Ucchash alone netted four goals while Rasel Ahmed and Md Ashikur Rahman struck twice each. Skipper Mohammad Mahedi Hasan was also on target. Bangladesh controlled the match from the onset and kept on piling pressure until the final whistle.
Ucchash opened the floodgates as early as in the 11th minute and doubled the advantage in the 20th. He completed the hat-trick in the 23rd before skipper Hasan added another in the first half injury time to go into the break with 4-0 lead. Bangladesh continued to dominate and added another right after the resumption through Ucchash. Forward Ahmed added sixth goal a minute later and grabbed his second in the 66th. Substitute Rahman, who replaced four-goal hero Ucchash in the 74th, struck in the 80th and stoppage time to complete the comprehensive victory.
In the day’s early fixture, Pakistan thumped Bhutan 4-0 to register their second consecutive victory and advance into the semi-finals as Group ‘B’ winners. Pakistan, who had overcome India 2-1 in their opening match on Thursday, earned maximum six points from two matches. The winners among India and Bhutan, set to vie on Monday, will make to the semi-final from the group as runners up.
Moin Ahmed struck brace for Pakistan who netted all four goals in the first half. Mudassar Nazar put Pakistan ahead in the 24th minute before Iftikhar Ahmed made it 2-0 three minutes later. Forward Ahmed added next two goals with his first coming in the 32nd minute before wrapping the 4-0 victory in the first half stoppage time.