Nepal, B'desh play goalless draw
Kathmandu, January 15
Nepal and Bangladesh played a goalless draw in the Group A match of the Bangabandhu Gold Cup in Dhaka today.
Both the teams entered the Bangabandhu National Stadium after learning they were in semi-finals following Sri Lanka’s 2-1 win over Felda United of Malaysia in an earlier match. The draw meant Bangladesh made it to the last four as group winners, while Nepal advanced to the semis as runners-up. Both teams finished the league campaign with five points with the hosts finishing ahead on superior goal difference. Sri Lanka accumulated three points, whereas Felda (two points) crashed out.
Nepal goalkeeper Bikesh Kuthu played a vital role in keeping clean sheet, while the rest of the players were busy in foiling Bangladeshi attack. Nepal did create a couple of scoring chances but that did not bother the opponent shot stopper. Kuthu saved the team from going down in one-on-one situation in the 12th minute, while Mamunul Islam Mamun's shot went out taking a deflection to Aditya Chaudhary three minutes later. Ananta Tamang held off Mamun in the 16th minute as the hosts took control over the match. Kuthu saved Hemanta Bishwas’ cross from left in the 22d minute before Jamal’s shot went out. In previous two matches, Nepal had played a goalless draw against Felda United before beating Sri Lanka 1-0 riding on a solitary goal from Bimal Gharti Magar.