Bangladesh 1-2 Pakistan: The Shaheens leave it late but fail to progress
Shaahzad Anwar's side missed out on qualifying for the knockout stages due to a poor head-to-head record against India...
By Rahul Bali
Samar Ishaq's own goal proved to be costly for Pakistan in the end as they go out of the SAFF Championship given their head-to-head record against India was in the negative. They did manage to register three points against Bangladesh after going down to a Mohamed Hasan Ameli goal but did well to comeback and score twice through Samar Ishaq and Kaleem Ullah.
Mohamed Ariful Islam and Raihan Hasan were the two new names in the starting eleven for Bangladesh from their last outing against India. Pakistan made four changes to their line-up with Saqib Hanif, Ahsan Ullah, Yaqoob Ejaz Butt and Zia Us-Salam being handed a start.
Bangladesh could have taken the lead in the very first minute as it was only thanks to the point blank save by goalkeeper Saqib Hanif that the scoreline didn’t change.
The ball was played primarily in Pakistan’s half as Bangladesh dominated the ball possession. In the 20th minute, Hanif kicked the ball which struck the opposition player and thankfully for the custodian, he dived to collect the ball to save the danger.
The Shaheens’ first opportunity came midway through the first half when Adnan Ahmed’s cross from the right saw striker Hassan Bashir’s header being saved by a diving Mamun Khan in goal. Bashir had another chance when he volleyed a cross from Muhammad Adil as the ball went wide after kissing the post.
In the 33rd minute, from a Raihan Hassan throw-in, Mohamed Hasan Ameli saw his looping header go over Saqib Hanif to make it 1-0.
However the lead lasted just for three minutes as skipper Samar Ishaq headed home from an Adnan Ahmed corner-kick to equalise.
Just before the half-time, Bangaldesh had another crack on goal when a free-kick from Sohel Rana saw Mohamed Hasan Ameli deflect it just right of the post. While at the other end, Hassan Bashir saw his header from a cross go wide after Bangladesh didn’t clear the lines well.
The second half started in a similar manner to the first as de Kruif’s side had a couple of decent chances to take the lead. Saqib Hanif denied Toklis Ahmed’s headed effort and Hasan Ameli’s attempt was blocked by the custodian.
Bangladesh goalkeeper Mamun Khan denied Pakistan from a Hassan Bashir header just before the hour mark.
However the game turned in Pakistan’s favour thereafter the Shaheens attacked in numbers. A Saddam Jarrar free-kick found Kaleem Ullah who passed it for Zeeshan Rehman but the former Fulham defender couldn’t reach the ball.
Zia-Us Salam saw his shot go wide of the post and the same was the case with Muhammad Riaz.
However it was in the second minute of the stoppage time that Muhammad Riaz' setup from the left wasn't cleared by the defence and Kaleem Ullah ticked the ball in the net.
Anwar's side will be proud of their display in the tournament but will look back at the opening encounter where they failed to make their chances count and handed a victory to India with an own goal. Bangladesh would feel hard done by after conceding late against India but one expected a far better performance from the Bengal Tigers in what turned out to be their final outing in this edition of SAFF Championship.
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