Bangladesh remained unbeaten in ongoing meet, securing four points from two matches after beating Sri Lanka 1-0, thanks to a goal from defender Topu Banman in the first match and a 10-men Bangladesh, coming from behind, snatched an important point from their giant neighbour India in 1-1 draw, featuring a goal from defender Yeasin Arafat.
Nepal, on the other hand, dominated the meet securing full six points from two matches after beating hosts Maldives 1-0 and defeated Sri Lanka by 3-2 goal.
Former champions India are in the 3rd slot bagging one point from their lone match against Bangladesh. Sri Lanka and Maldives are yet to open the account after playing two and one match respectively.
Thursday’s match will be equally important for both the teams. Bangladesh wants to brighten the chance to secure the ticket to the final beating the Maldives while the hosts seriously needed a win to keep their title hopes alive.
It will be another acid test for the newly appointed Spanish coach of Bangladesh national football team, Oscar Bruzon after proving his worth in the first two matches.
In the remaining matches of the South Asia’s biggest football tournament, Bangladesh will play Nepal on 13 October at 5.00pm at the National Football Stadium in Male.
Two top teams of the tournament will play the final on 16 October at the same venue.
The present record are not in favour of Bangladesh as they suffered three successive defeats against the Maldives including a 0-5 loss in the FIFA International friendly in Male in 2016.
Bangladesh beat the Maldives last in 2003 to win SAF Championship in Dhaka beating them them by 5-3 goals in tie-breaker in the final.
Ahead of the Thursday’s match, Bangladesh team had a practice session at the Henveiru Training Pitch in Male Wednesday afternoon.
Three key players of Bangladesh team are likely to miss the Thursday’s match against the Maldives. Defender Bishwanath Ghosh will miss the match for receiving red card, Rakib Hossain for two yellow cards and midfielder Atiqur Rahman Fahad due to a back injury.
T-Sports will telecast the match between Bangladesh and Maldives live from 10.00pm Bangladesh time.