Bangladesh, India in final
Bangladesh and India moved into the final of U-18 Asia Cup hockey tournament with wins in their respective semifinals at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium on Thursday.
Bangladesh thrashed Chinese Taipei 6-1 in the first semifinal while India edged rivals Pakistan 3-1 in the the second semifinal. The final will be played tomorrow.
Bangladesh' Ashraful Islam scored thrice while Raju Ahmed, Sajib Hossain and Fazle Hossain Rabbi netted one goal apiece. Chin Feng Liu scored the consolation goal for Chines Taipei.
Bangladesh came into the semifinals with dominating wins against mighty India and Oman but the boys in red and green virtually failed to keep their momentum of previous two matches despite taking an early lead.
Bangladesh played a lot of miss passes in face of the strong zonal marking as well as rock-solid defense before bouncing back strongly in the latter part of the second half.
Bangladesh led the first half 2-0 with the strikes from Ashraful and Raju but they faced stiff resistance at the start of the second half from visiting Chinese Taipei who lost to Bangladesh 8-1 in a practice match.
Chinese Taipei reduced the margin in the 41st minute with Chin Feng converting the penalty corner and came close twice to level the margin but Chung Pang Shin and Tzu Yu Huang squandered two sitters despite catching Bangladesh keeper Yeasin Arafat off-guard.
Afterwards, Bangladesh organised themselves to put pressure and score four more goals in the last 22 minutes.