SAFF Championship 2015

Bhutan – Bangladesh preview: Pride at stake for both sides

Nepalese football player Anil Gurung (L) and Bangladesh football player MD Ariful Islam (R) tussle for the ball during the SAFF Championship football match in Kathmandu on August 31, 2013. Photo: AFP

The group stage of the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship 2015 ends on Monday, with the first of the two fixtures featuring the bottom two sides's of Group B, Bhutan and Bangladesh.

The Pema Dorji coached side lost their previous encounter 3-0 to defending champions Afghanistan despite putting in a valiant effort in defence. A brace from Khaibar Amani in either half and a late first half goal from Masih Saighani ensured three points for the Afghans.

Prior to their loss against Afghanistan, the young Bhutanese side had succumbed to a 3-1 defeat against Maldives, who had outplayed them in all departments of the game.

On the other hand, Bangladesh put up a decent fight against Maldives but ended up suffering a 3-1 defeat.

The Bangladesh midfield looked much more resolute against Maldives than what it did in the game versus Afghanistan in their opening SAFF Championship fixture. Meanwhile, Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) have appointed a three-member committee to probe the reasons as to why the team made an early exit from the ongoing tournament. 

Coach Maruful Haque's contract comes to an end and whether he would be handed an extension is up in the air. Meanwhile, skipper Mamunul Islam has announced his decision to quit captaincy.

Both sides will look to bow out of the SAFF Championship hoping to add points on the board, as they square up against each other for one last time in this year’s competition.

Kick off at 3:55 pm Bangladesh Standard Time (BST).