Gurkirat shatters Bangladesh's dream in SAFF U-20 final

Bangladesh players left dejected after they lost the final of the U-20 SAFF Championship final against hosts India on August 05, 2022. Photo: BFF

Bangladesh once again had to be content with a second-place finish in the SAFF U-20 Championship after suffering a massive 5-2 defeat to hosts India in the final at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar tonight.

In the quest of getting rid of their frustration from the previous two finals, the boys in red and green initially put on a good show by coming from behind to take a 2-1 lead at one stage. However, the regulation 90 minutes ended with a 2-2 draw as unstoppable forward of India, Gurkirat Singh, shattered Bangladesh's dream by striking four goals – two each in regulation and extra time.

The charges of Paul Smalley looked tired in the dying minutes of the fast-paced match and India capitalised on the opportunity of tiring Bangladesh backline to kill off the match by scoring three goals within the first five minutes of the first-half of the extra-time. 

Bangladesh, who came into the final with an unbeaten record and a good memory of 2-1 win over India in the group-stage match, started on the backfoot from the onset, with India getting a chance to score from a penalty kick. Gurkirat made no mistake as he easily sent goalkeeper Mohammad Asif on the wrong side from the spot to give the home side a second-minute lead.

Afterwards, Bangladesh played some possession-based football to press for the equaliser but they could hardly break the Indian backline while India kept countering to defend their lead and Bangladesh survived a couple of close calls, courtesy of some good goal-keeping from Asif.

Bangladesh finally struck to level the margin in the 45th minute with Rajon Howlader finding the back of the net with a drive following a scramble that led to a cut-back from Rajon.

Two minutes after the interval, Bangladesh took the lead when defender Shahin Mia drove a left-footer inside the box following a couple of exchanges inside the box. However, the boys could hold the lead for only 12 minutes as  Gurkirat levelled the margin for India with a sudden powerful drive from outside the box at the half-hour mark. 

India once again came close to taking the lead but defender Azizur Haque made a nice goal-line clearance after goalkeeper Asif was beaten by Himanshu Jangra in the 67th minute while Asif thwarted a close-range tap from Brijesh Giri by jumping to his left side for a corner in the 90th minute.

The match rolled into the extra-time and India came strongly to strike three goals within the first five minutes. Himanshu Jangra, after availing a defence-split through-pass from Maneson Sing, beat Asif with an angular shot in the second minute while Gurkirat made it 4-2 in next minute with a dipping shot from outside the box.

Gurkirat struck again and completely killed off the match with another strike in the eighth minute to raise his tournament-goal tally to eight in the eighth minute of the first-half extra time and thus buried Bangladesh's dream of taking the trophy home. 




প্লাস্টিকের ব্যানারে প্লাস্টিকের বিরুদ্ধে স্লোগান

‘প্ল্যাস্টিক দূষণ সমাধানে-সামিল হই সকলে’ প্রতিপাদ্যে ও ‘সবাই মিলে করি পণ, বন্ধ হবে প্ল্যাস্টিক দূষণ’ স্লোগানে আজ সোমবার পালিত হচ্ছে বিশ্ব পরিবেশ দিবস। তবে প্লাস্টিকের বিরুদ্ধে স্লোগান ও এর বিকল্পের...