Youthful Malaysia stun hosts

January 30, 2015

Malaysia Under-23 team shocked Bangladesh national side 1-0 in the opening match as the third edition of the Bangabandhu Gold Cup got off to a low-key start in Sylhet on Thursday. Malaysia Under-23 players celebrate their goal while a disappointed Bangladesh national team captain Mamunul Islam (L) looks on during the opening match of the Bangabandhu Gold Cup at the Sylhet District Stadium on Thursday. — New Age photo
Malaysia Under-23 players celebrate their goal while a disappointed Bangladesh national team captain Mamunul Islam (L) looks on during the opening match of the Bangabandhu Gold Cup at the Sylhet District Stadium on Thursday. — New Age photo
Muhammed Syazwan scored the all important goal in the 53rd minute to leave the home side in a must-win situation in their second and final group match against Sri Lanka on February 2 in Dhaka.
The home side left some 17,000 fans gathered at the packed Sylhet district stadium disappointed with their sluggish performance that clearly lacked any bite.
Barring, midfielders Hemantha Vincent and Zahid Hossain, all the players were below-par against a youthful Malaysian side, who came with a squad averaging 21-and-a-half year of age.
Forward Zahid Hasan Ameli, the leading international scorer for Bangladesh,
was awful to say the least as he squandered the few rare attempts the hosts made on the goal.
Bangladesh have the woodwork to thank for not conceding more goals as Malaysian side hit the post at least three times in the first half before making the breakthrough at the restart.
The visitors noticed Bangladesh’s weakness in long-ball and attempted several shots from outside the box. An advancing goalkeeper Liton was beaten on number of occasions but the goal post came to the rescue on every occasions.
In the very seventh minute, Malaysian midfielder Arif Farhan tried his luck with a long range effort from just outside the box over onrushing Liton but he saw his shot hit the woodwork.
Bangladesh initiated a counter-attack just a minute later when Zahid Hossain provided a neat cross from the right flank for Ameli who failed to connect the ball from the middle of the box.
Luck again helped the home side in the 15th minute when Adam Nor’s header from the box hit the crossbar following a free-kick of captain Nazirul.
Ameli once again wasted a scoring opportunity in the 22nd minute after a fine build-up between Hemanta Vincent and Zahid set him up with a cross.
In the 24th minute Zahid headed down a long ball of Sohel Rana to make the path for Ameli but the striker volleyed it over the bar from the edge of the box.
Three minutes later Malaysia were denied by the goalpost against as Mohammad Ridzuan’s left-footed strike from 25 yards out was ricocheted off.
In the last minute before the interval, Sohel tried an attempt from inside the box after receiving a pass from Mamunul Islam but it was blocked by a Malaysian defender.
After a barren first half, Malaysia continued their pressure and finally broke the dead lock in the 53rd minute.
Syazwan dribbled past two defenders before taking a curling shot from 25 yards out and Liton, who allowed Syazwan to try the long range by leaving the post free, had nothing but to see the ball went into the top right corner over his head.
Malaysia changed their strategy after obtaining the lead by playing defensive football which gave the hosts a room to create few more chances.
Mamunul tried his luck in the 59th minute but he saw his 20-yard grounder go wide.
Bangladesh wasted the real chance to level the margin in the 83rd minute when substitute forward Shakhawat Hossain Rony’s attempt hit the side post from six-yard box after Zahid chested down the ball for him.

-With New Age input

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