Host nation Bangladesh started the tournament in front of their thousands of spectators with a comfortable 2-0 win over Bhutan. Bangladesh played in their traditional green kit while Bhutan who were in their full orange kit. Earlier today, Pakistan scored a late winner when they beat Nepal 2-1 in this group.
Bangladesh started the game with full of confidence using their quick pace and power. As a result, they were awarded an early penalty by the referee inside two minutes when Bhutan defender brought down a Bangladeshi player inside the box.
Defender Topu Barman converted it in style giving host nation an early lead in front of the home crowd. This is the 15th goal Bhutan have conceded inside Six SAFF Suzuki Cup games against Bangladesh. Mahbubur Rahman of Bangladesh had a glorious chance to double the lead inside 5 minutes. But, His effort was well saved by the Bhutan Goalkeeper Tshering Dendup.
Bhutan also came close when Nima Wangdi headed a cross delivered by his teammate which was comfortably saved by Bangladesh goalie MD Sahidul Alam. Bhutan best player Chencho Gyeltshen also had two wonderful opportunities to bring back his team to level. His first chance came when the ball was loose inside the penalty area from a miscommunication between Bangladesh goalkeeper and defender. His effort went wide. In the 26th minute, Chencho had another chance to level but, this time goalkeeper saved it.
Bangladesh also came close doubling their lead. Biplo Ahamed’s effort was cleared over the crossbar by Bhutan goalkeeper. The host nation used their electrifying speedy wingers from both sides throughout the first half. Chencho again came close from scoring in the extra time of the first half. But, he could not have delivered. Bangladesh went in to half time with a one goal lead over Bhutan.
Bangladesh double the lead inside two minutes of the start of second half. Mahbubur Rahman’s stunning half-volley made it 2-0. Bhutan made their first substitute after Bangladesh doubled the lead. Choki Wangchuk came on for Tshering Samdup.
In the 65th minute Bangladesh came close scoring a third. But could not find the back of the net. Bhutan also tried to penetrate through Bangladesh defense. But they could not as Bangladesh defense was well organized. At the 73rd minute, Chencho had another good chance to put one back. This time also he could not hit the target. Bhutan Captain Karma Tshering was booked for stimulation in the 79th minute. Chencho’s 86th minute close range freekick was blocked by the wall.
Bangladesh played well through the match and came victorious as they beat Bhutan once again.
Bangladesh have lost just one of their ten SAFF Suzuki Cup games when they are playing as host nation. They have recorded 8 wins and 1 draw during this period of time. They are also unbeaten in their seven group games in the competition winning 6 and drawing one.
Bangladesh will take on Pakistan on Thursday. Bhutan will play Nepal on the same day.