Bangabandhu Gold Cup: Bangladesh off to good start, beat Laos 1-0
Bangladesh got off to a good start in the 5th version of the six-nation Bangabandhu Gold Cup International Football Tournament beating upper ranked Laos by 1-0 goal in the opener at 25,000-crowd Sylhet District Stadium on Monday evening, amid huge enthusiasm among the local fans.
In the match, Biplo Ahmed put Bangladesh ahead in the 60th minute by a good shot from a handshake distance that kissed the net hitting the Laos custodian, following two repeated unsuccessful attempts (1-0).
Mahbubur Rahman Sufil spoiled two close chances while Nabib Newaz Jibon missed another easy chance at the match.
In a FIFA international friendly match in Laos on March 27 last, Bangladesh came from behind to settle for a 2-2 draw with the hosts.
With the day’s feat, Bangladesh not only regained their rhythm after a frustrating show in the just-concluded SAFF Championship in Dhaka, but also brightened their chance to reach the semifinals of the prestigious meet.
Bangladesh (FIFA ranked 193), the runners-up of 2015 Bangabandhu Gold Cup Football, lived up their expectations again beating FIFA ranked 178 Laos team.
Earlier, Finance Minister AMA Muhith inaugurated the 12-day heavyweight soccer meet at a simple ceremony in the evening. President of Bangladesh Football Federation Kazi Mohammad Salahuddin was also present on the occasion.
In the remaining Group B match, Bangladesh will play stronger Philippines on October 5 at the same venue.
The group matches of the country’s prestigious meet are billed for Sylhet from Oct 1-6.
Later, two semifinals will be held at the Bir Shrestha Ruhul Amin Stadium in Cox’s Bazar on October 9 and 10 and the final will commence at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka on October 12.
Six teams—split into two groups—are initially taking part in the first phase in Sylhet with the matches kicking off at 6:30 pm.
Participating teams are:
Group A – holders Nepal, Palestine and Tajikistan
Group B – Laos, the Philippines and hosts Bangladesh.
Remaining fixture of group matches:
Oct 2: Nepal vs Tajikistan
Oct 3: Laos vs Philippines
Oct 4: Tajikistan vs Palestine
Oct 5: Bangladesh vs Philippines
Oct 6: Palestine vs Nepal
Bangladesh’s Eleven: Ashraful Islam Rana, Waly Faisal, Bishwanath Ghosh, Tutul Hossain Badsha, Topu Barman, Biplo Ahmed (Mamunul Islam Mamun), Jamal Bhuiyan, Masuk Miah Zoni, Rabiul Hasan (Zafar Iqbal), Mahbubur Rahman Sufil (Ibrahim Miah) and Nabib Newaz Jibon.