Defying all the odds, Bangladesh booters made their country proud as they move into the dream final of the Bangabandhu Gold Cup International Football tournament as they sent the favourites Thailand packing with a solitary goal victory in the second semifinal match at the Bangabandhu National Stadium here today (Friday).
The cherished winning goal was scored by Nasir Uddin in the 39th minute of the play. Thailand went allout but Bangladesh defended their citadel with extreme determination and hung on to their solitary goal lead to notch a historic win in front of the packed stadium.
Bangladesh will meet Malaysia, who beat Singapore 1-0 in the first semifinal on Thursday, at Sylhet District Stadium.
The much-awaited final would be played on Sunday at 5 pm with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to be the chief guest and give away the prizes among the winner.
After a long time, the 26,000 capacity BNS turned into a human sea as all the galleries almost filled with crowds, who came to cheer up their home team ahead of the vital match.
The boys in red and green went into early attacks as Amily saw his header from the top of the box went beside the side bar in the 9th minute.
Sohel Rana’s powerful right footer from inside the danger zone sailed harmlessly over the cross piece in the 25th minute.
In the next minute, Amily saw his close range header off a throw from Rayhan brilliant gripped by Thai custodian Yos Somporn.
Bangladesh finally found the net in the 39th minute. Unmarked Nasir Uddin gently tabbed tha ball from a handshake distance following a conner kick taken by skipper Mamunul Islam at the right flank (1-0).
After the resumption, the hosts again went into attack in the 55th minute but failed to double the lead as skipper Mamun’s powerful Left-footer from the top of the box went beside the right side bar.
Thailand got the best chance to restore the parity in the 64th minute. Thailand skipper Parmpak Pakorn must consider him as unlucky as his well-judged angular shot from 15 yards returned to play after hitting the cross bar.
Bangladesh clearly dominated the entire proceedings and notched their deserving victory while Thailand was off-colored except one or two attacks in the match.
Earlier, Malaysia confirmed their last four berth eliminating Singapore by a solitary goal in the first semifinal.
Bangladesh - Rayhan, Yeasin, Nasir, Jamal, Zaahid, Mamun, Jahid, Hemonto, Sohel, Yeamin and Shahidul.
Thailand- Somporn, Selonon, Saipanya, Klinkosum, Parmpak, Pimkoon, Singmui, Veerachart, Busan, Sensomaiad and Nimboon.
Referee - YuMing Hsun (Chinise Taipei)