Bangladesh, India enter semis of SAFF Championship
11 December 2005
KARACHI: Defending champions Bangladesh and three-time winners India
scored facile wins to make it to the last four stage in the ongoing South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship here on Saturday. India defeated Bhutan 3-0 while Bangladesh downed Nepal 2-0.
Indian captain Baichung Bhutia gave India the lead on the stroke of
half-time. This was the ace striker's ninth goal in the championship’s
history. Mahesh Gawli doubled the advantage in the 52nd minute, while
substitute Abdul Hakim made it 3-0 in the 66th minute.
R. Kanchan fired a brace for Bangladesh in the 27th and 87th minutes.
Nepal’s Basanta Thapa, Hari Khadka, Bijay Gurung and Pradeep Maharjan made some beautiful moves but lacked finishing skills. Motiur Rehman Munna dodged Nepalese defenders and supplied the ball to Kanchan, who tapped it in to give Bangladesh their first goal. He once again found the net three minutes from time.
Sri Lanka face Afghanistan, while hosts Pakistan will clash against
Maldives in their last group encounters on Sunday.