Palestine secured a late 2-0 victory over a stubborn Sri Lankan outfit in their group stage fixture of the 2020 Bangabandhu Gold Cup in Bangladesh.
The game kicked-off with Palestine holding onto possession and playing attacking football while Sri Lanka defended deep and fancied their chances through counter attacks, but neither were able to concoct any stark goal scoring opportunities in the first few minutes.
The best chance of the first half for Palestine came in the 17th minute when a free-kick by Mahmoud Abuwarda found Reebal Dahamshi unmarked inside the box whose header went sailing over the crossbar.
Sri Lanka were awarded a free-kick from close range just before the first-half came to a closure where Waseem Razeek could only rattle the crossbar as the ball was deflected over the wall.
Half Time – Palestine 0 – 0 Sri Lanka
Chances went abegging at both ends of the pitch with both the teams failing to find the all-important final touch to put the ball back in the net.
Ruwan Arunasiri made some crucial saves to keep Palestine at bay and they were further frustrated by Sri Lanka’s stubborn defending and time wasting tactics who were all set to salvage a draw.
However, Palestine’s assertive approach finally paved the way to a blunder from the Sri Lankan defense deep into injury time. A delicate cross down the left channel from Sameh Maraaba found Mahmoud Abuwarda unmarked inside the box, whose diving header found the back of the net with ease.
Sri Lanka pushed bodies forward in search for an equalizer, but was exposed by the blistering Palestine counter-attack as Khaled Salem put the game to bed with their second of the night after going one-on-one with Arunasiri.
Full Time – Palestine 2 – 0 Sri Lanka
Palestine – Mahmoud Abuwarda 90+3’, Khaled Salem 90+6’