Ahmed Fahim scored a hat-trick as Bangladesh thumped a listless Sri Lankan side 4-0 in the opening game of the 2017 SAFF U15 Championship at the ANFA Complex in Nepal.
Sri Lanka were formed to defend from the outset as all 11 were behind the ball and even inside their own half most of the time. Sri Lanka rarely had possession and when they did were unable to put together 3-4 passes.
Football Federation of Sri Lanka (FFSL) has selected a 23-player squad for the South Asian..
Bangladesh, though they had possession, took time to adjust to the ultra-defensive tactics of the Sri Lankans. Their first opportunity came in the 22nd minute via a free-kick from the edge of the box which the Sri Lankan skipper Sandeepa Waas divided to punch it away at his near post.
Sri Lanka were dealt with a big blow when their best player on the park Mohamed Rikaz was injured and had to be replaced by Ekinam Diniyas in the 28th minute. A minute later Bangladesh registered their first goal when Ahmed Fahim drove into the box on the left and shot past the goalkeeper from an angle.
Minutes later they added the 2nd from a neatly taken free-kick. A training ground move saw Fahim again taking the defence by surprise and shooting beyond the diving Waas into the corner.
On the stoke of half time an intended cross from Nasmul Biswas swerved in and dipped into the goal at the far post to make it 3-0 going into the break.
Half time – Bangladesh 3 – 0 Sri Lanka
The 2nd half was much of the same as Ashaktha Mihiru, who substituted Sandeepa Waas during the break, was forced into a save early on and a volley from a Bangladesh player crashed off the upright and away from danger.
Bangladesh was awarded a penalty in the 76th minute as Fahim drilled it into the goal to complete his hat-trick. With minutes, remaining Mihiru was forced into another save at his near post, which bounced off the upright and was collected again by him.
Full time – Bangladesh 4 – 0 Sri Lanka