After making two spectacular comebacks to win in their previous two games against Maldives and Bhutan, Bangladesh looked menacing in the first half of their SAFF Championship semifinal match against a superior Kuwait at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru today. The match was for the championship, which is being held in Bengaluru.
At the break of the game, there is no score, despite the fact that both teams have had chances to score.
Bangladesh had their best opportunity of the half just a few minutes after the ball was kicked off. Sheikh Morsalin, who was all by himself inside the 18-yard box of the opponent, was only able to fire it straight at the Kuwait goalie after the forward Rakib Hossain ran past the Kuwaiti defense on the right wing. Rakib Hossain then supplied a precise square pass to Sheikh Morsalin.
Isa Faisal made a crucial clearance right in front of the goalline in the opening ten minutes of the match to save Bangladesh from a significant scare that was caused by a header that was attempted by a forward for Kuwait.
Another important stop was made by the goalkeeper for Bangladesh, Anisur Rahman Zico, in the twenty-seventh minute of the match. Zico was forced to punch away a lobbed cross that was being sent from the left wing by the Kuwaiti striker Al Rashidi. It appeared to be headed toward the goal.
When Al Rashidi challenged Zico with a low and powerful effort from outside the penalty area, the Brazilian goalkeeper was forced to make another diving stop.
In the meanwhile, Kuwait has made a strategic adjustment early in the game by substituting Mahdi M Dashti with Ali Muhaisen in the 31st minute of play. This was an unexpected move on their part.
Bangladesh, who has a FIFA rating of 192 and is 49 places behind a considerably more talented Kuwait, appeared to be organized and were not afraid to be aggressive in their approach. They found some wonderful passes in the middle and the attacking third of the field. Rakib, in particular, was a challenge for the defensive players for Kuwait, as he made a number of overlapping runs along the sides and provided crosses.