Warda punishes U-23s | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 24, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:52 AM, July 24, 2017

Warda punishes U-23s

The Bangladesh U-23 team ended their campaign in the AFC U-23 Championship Qualifers with a third defeat in as many matches, losing 3-0 to hosts Palestine at the Faisal Al-Husseini Stadium in West Bank, Palestine yesterday.

The Palestinians dominated from the start of the match and were powered by a brilliant hattrick from captain Mahmoud Abu Warda.

Bangladesh, who were already out of contention from the race for qualification, finished bottom of the group. Palestine meanwhile are through as Group E champions with seven points. Jordan, on six points, have a shot at qualifying as best runners-up.

The hosts made their early pressure count as they took the lead from an eighth-minute corner. Bangladesh goalkeeper Anisur Rahman rushed out to meet the cross, whipped in low and hard, but was beaten to the ball by Warda, who headed into an empty net.

Despite taking the lead, Palestine continued bombarding the Bangladesh goal but Anisur dealt with the efforts well, including two great stops in the 14th and 31st minutes.

The 33rd minute produced one of the better chances for Palestine as a floated corner found defender Omar Al Sharif at the far post, but his wild slash went wide from close range.

Immediately afterwards, Bangladesh launched an attack, one of a handful throughout the match, which yielded a corner. The cross in was headed to a Bangladesh player but he gave away possession with a terrible backpass from which the hosts broke, leading to Warda's second.

Striker Mahmoud Yousef led the charge and played a pass to the right-hand edge of the box for Warda, who chipped the goalkeeper with his first touch. Anisur, perhaps in anticipation of a one-on-one, found himself in no man's land as he watched the ball sail over his head.

The Palestinian captain had to wait till added time for the elusive third goal but when it came, it was handed to him on a silver platter.

A few quick passes led to a one-on-one with Anisur, who did well to block Warda's first attempt.  The number seven recovered possession and shaped for cross from the byline, but swivelled his body and took a shot at the last second. Anisur, who was off his line, was again let down by his instincts as the ball glided into the post under his outstretched hand.

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