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FIFA Int’l Series: Bangladesh off to a flying start with 2-0 win over Nepal

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Photo: UNB

Bangladesh made a flying start in the two-match “Mujib Borsho FIFA International Football Series”, beating Nepal 2-0 in the opening match at the Bangabandhu National Stadium here on Friday.

Striker Nabib Newaj Jibon and substitute striker Mahbubur Rahman Sufil scored for the Red and Green, one in each half, against the all Red Nepal.

With the day’s match, Bangladesh smartly returned to the international football after about ten months with a long-awaited victory over Nepal after playing last in the Bangabandu Gold Cup semifinal against Burundi on January 23.

State owned Bangladesh Television telecast the match live while Bangladesh Betar broadcast the running commentary from the big bowl.

Striker Nabib Newaj Jibon put hosts Bangladesh ahead in the very 10th minute of the match with a smart finish on the run after a 6-yard box melee, that resulted from a dangerous  right wing cross of Saaduddin (1-0).

Sufil, who came on to replace Sumon Reza, sealed the fate of the match in the 79th minute with a solo effort, off a Rahmat Miya pass.

He scored the 2nd goal for Bangladesh by an angular placing shot beating two opponent defenders and custodian, after entering the danger zone from left wing (2-0).

With the day’s feat, Bangladesh not only avenged two consecutive defeats against Nepal, but also earned morale boost up ahead of their FIFA World Cup Qualifier against Qatar in Doha on December 4.

The Himalayan country Nepal, which arrived in the capital last Thursday (Nov 5), will play their remaining FIFA International friendly against the hosts team on November 17 at the same venue.

Bangladesh comparatively dominated the first half of the match and spoiled three more close calls, but Nepal try to reorganise themselves in the 2nd half to level the margin, but failed and conceded a huge defeat.

Goal keeper Anisur Rahman Zico and forward Sumon Reza made their debuts in the match.

Apart from regular captain Jamal Bhuiyan, Topu Barman and Yeasin Khan also captained Bangladesh team in the match for sometimes after Bhuiyan was taken off, probably with an eye on the next game and the all-important qualifiers ahead.

Bangladesh squad: Anisur Rahman Zico, Topu Barman, Bishwanath Ghosh, Riadul Hasan, Rahmat Miya, Jamal Bhuiyan (Atiqur Rahman Fahad), Mohammad Ibrahim,Saaduddin, Nabib Newaj Jibon, Manik Hossain Mollah (Sohel Rana) and Sumon Reza (Mahbubur  Rahman Sufil).