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Monday, February 19, 2018 04:03:21 PM
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Bangladesh to play Sri Lanka today for semifinal berth

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Captain of Bangladesh National Football team Mamunul Islam (right) and Captain of Sri Lanka National Football team Sujon Perera (left) shaking hands at the Bangladesh Football Federation House on Sunday.

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To fulfill the dream of a semifinal berth, Bangladesh national team will play Sri Lanka national side in the last Group A match of the six-nation Bangabandhu Gold Cup International Football Tournament today (Monday) at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in the capital.
The match will kick-off at 5 pm (Bangladesh Standard Time).
Hosts Bangladesh needs only a draw to reach the last four of the FIFA and AFC approved international soccer meet of Bangladesh while Sri Lanka will have to win the match to assure the semifinal berth.
Bangladesh earlier lost to Malaysia Under-23 team 0-1 while Sri Lanka lost 0-2 against Malaysia, leaving Bangladesh in an advantageous position to reach the semifinal with a draw.
Addressing a pre-match press conference at the BFF House on Sunday, Bangladesh captain Mamunul Islam Mamun said: "Our team is ready to face Sri Lanka… we'll take the field for three points (win)."
"It will be better to win a match rather than playing a good game. We're ahead of Sri Lanka… we want to win the match making it our day (Monday)," added the Bangladesh captain.
The Dutch head coach of Bangladesh team, Lodewijk de Kruif, said: "It will be a 2nd chance for us to reach the 2nd round (semifinal) after losing the first match to Malaysia."
"I am fully confident that the players will do their job and will try to win the match as they have an intention to win," he added.
Replying to a query if Bangladesh will play for a draw, de Kruif said: "Draw is difficult than a win."
Addressing the same press conference, head coach of Sri Lanka Nikola Kavazovic said they have no interest about this tournament, but are here now to prepare for the World Cup qualifiers.
He, however, termed the local arrangements as fantastic and the tournament as fabulous.
Sri Lankan captain Sujon Perera also echoed his coach, saying that "the tournament is a warm up and bonus for us ahead of the World Cup qualifiers."
"We'll play the match against Bangladesh on counterattack," he added.
The other team of the three-team group A, Malaysia Under-23 team, was the first to reach the semi-final with all-win record beating Sri Lanka 2-0 in their 2nd and last group match at the Sylhet District Stadium on Saturday.

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