Hosts Bangladesh made a flying start in the SAFF U-16 Championship when they beat Sri Lanka 4-0 in their first match in Sylhet on Tuesday to qualify for the semi-final of the tournament.
Sarwar Jaman Nipu struck twice while Abedin Rakib and Mohammad Atiquzzaman netted one goal apiece as Bangladesh sent Sri Lanka packed after the islanders suffered two defeats in as many matches.
Bangladesh’s win also confirmed India’s place in last four. India earlier thrashed Sri Lanka 5-0 and will now face Bangladesh in their last match on Thursday to determine the standings of Group A.
Sri Lanka had to beat Bangladesh to stay alive in the tournament but the hosts denied them any chance of making an attempt putting nice display, though they had to satisfy with a mere 1-0 lead in the first half.
Nipu found the back of the Sri Lankan net in the very first minute but the goal was ruled out for off-side.
The striker however did not take too long to put Bangladesh ahead scoring as early as in the fourth minute with a brilliant left-footer after his first attempt was blocked by a defender.
Bangladesh kept creating chances but they did not increase the margin in the first half as Sad Uddin was denied by woodwork in the 20th minute.
Sri Lankan goalkeeper Mohammad Fazlan made a superb save tipping a powerful shot from Khalil Bhuiyan on the half-hour mark.
Rakib drove a powerful left footer inside the box to double the lead 15 minutes into the second half before Nipu rattled the sidebar in 63rd minute.
Sri Lanka then found the lone chance to reduce the margin but Sufaek drove narrowly wide of the post before Atiquzzaman made it 3-0 with a header in the 76th minute.
Nipu put the last nail on Sri Lankan coffin in the 86th minute with a clinical finish after a defense-split through pass from Mohammad Shawon.
Bangladesh coach Syed Jilani was naturally happy with team’s performance.
‘All credit goes to the boys, who really played well,’ Jilani told reporters after the match. ‘We are happy to begin the championship with a good win.’
Jilani still saw a room for improvement in their finishing and hoped they will rectify their mistakes in the next match against India.
Sri Lankan assistant coach MMA Azwar also praised Bangladesh.
‘Bangladesh is a good side and they put up better performance in all departments. They deserved this win,’ he said after the match.
-With New Age input