Bangladesh will need a draw against visiting Nepal today’s (Saturday’s) match to reach the semifinal in the seven-nation SAFF Suzuki Cup 2018.
The must-win game for Nepal’s semifinal berth will begin at 7.00 pm at Bangabandhu National Stadium in the city.
Bangladesh are now atop the four-team Group ‘A’ collecting all-win six points from two outings, staring their campaign with a 2-0 win against already-eliminated side Bhutan before getting a 1-0 goal victory against Pakistan in the second game, reports UNB.
Nepal started their journey with a 1-2 defeat against Pakistan in the tournament opener before stunned Bhutan by 4-0 goals to keep their hope for last four berth alive and to hold the second slot by virtue of goal difference.
In another match of Saturday, if Pakistan is beaten by Bhutan, Bangladesh will reach semifinals, even if suffer a loss against Nepal.
If Pakistan can manage a win against Bhutan, Bangladesh will need at least a draw against Nepal to confirm its last-four berth.
Ahead of the match day, Bangladesh boys’ had a two hours’ practice session at Birshrestha Shaheed Sepoy Mohammad Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamlapur in the afternoon.
In the last three editions, Bangladesh made their exit from the group stage. The host side had a successful campaign in the SAFF Championship 2003 with a 1(5)-1(3) win in a penalty shootout against the Maldives in the final at Bangabandhu National Stadium.
Bangladesh are hosting the event for the third time after 2003 and 2009, since its inception in 1993.
Bangladesh squad: Ashraful Islam Rana, Shahidul Alam Sohel, Anisur Rahman, Topu Barman, Nasiruddin Chowdhury, Bishwanath Ghosh, Tutul Hossain Badsha, Waly Faisal, Susanta Tripura, Masuk Miah Zony, Mamunul Islam Mamun, Emon Mahmud Babu, Faisalo Mahmud, Sohel Rana, Biplu Ahmed, Atiqul Islam Fahad, Jamal Bhuiyan, Shahkawat Hossain Rony, Mahbubur Rahman Sufil and Saaduddin