Molla strikes as Bangladesh see off Bhutan, top group

Lalitpur, August 22

Bangladesh defeated Bhutan 3-0 in the last league round match of the SAFF U-15 Championship here at the ANFA Complex grounds today.

Bangladesh and Bhutan had already advanced to the semi-finals from the group after beating Sri Lanka in the previous matches and the day’s result meant Bangladesh finished at the top of the three-team group. Bhutan finished second. Earlier, Bangladesh had defeated Sri Lanka 4-0, while Bhutan thrashed the same opponents 6-0.

Bangladesh will take on Group B winners, while Bhutan will play against the runners-up. The match between Nepal and India slated for Wednesday will decide the Group A champions. Nepal and India have already made it to the last four at the expense of the Maldives.

On Tuesday, Md Miraj Molla scored a brace and Foysal Ahmed Fahim scored a goal for Bangladesh. Fahim opened the scoring for Bangladesh in the 25th minute after his shot from 18 yards out found the back of the nets.

After the interval, Molla struck twice to seal the victory. Molla headed home following a cross from Minhazul Karim Shadin in the 52nd minute and added another in the 81st minute from the edge of the danger zone.

Bangladesh coach Mostofa Anowar Parvez said lauded his players for executing the team’s strategy. “We won the match as my approach against Bhutan worked out. We also wasted a couple of goal scoring chances like in the previous match against Sri Lanka,” said Parvez.

Bhutan coach Songjun Lee was satisfied with the team’s performance. Lee said that he wanted to see Nepal as their semi-final opponents. “Both India and Nepal are strong teams. But I would prefer to play against the hosts as it would be a wonderful experience for my boys to play against Nepal.”