What Bangladesh has to do to reach the semi-finals. 14 years ago, Bangladesh was able to pass the group stage of the last SAF. Since then, the red-green jersey holders have to return empty-handed every time from the famous South Asian World Cup. Last two times, they had to return from the threshold of the semi-finals, drowning in disappointment in the last match of the group stage. Jamal Bhuiyara does not want to stand on the threshold of the semi-finals once again.
Bangladesh started this season with a loss. Javier Cabrera’s side lost 2-0 against mighty Lebanon. Since the opponent in the next match is a strong Maldives, there was concern from the beginning about Bangladesh going through the group East.
However, despite falling behind in the second match, Jamal-Mursaleen overcame the Maldives barrier with great football. With a 3-1 victory, the road to the semi-finals has opened for Bangladesh. A win in the last match can fulfill the dream of reaching the semi-finals.
However, Bangladesh is not guaranteed the semi-final only if they win. We have to look forward to the results of the other matches in the group.
If Maldives loses to Lebanon, Bangladesh will have to draw with Bhutan. However, if Maldives wins, Bangladesh will have to win against Bhutan. Not just winning, the margin of victory should be bigger than Maldives. At the end of the first two matches, the goal difference between Bangladesh and Maldives is equal. However, Bangladesh is number two as it is ahead in face-to-face competition. Lebanon is the most advanced in the fight to be the group champion after winning two matches. If they draw against Maldives, they are guaranteed to be group champions.
If Bangladesh and Maldives draw in their respective matches, the door to the semifinals will be open for Bangladesh. In that case the draw gap should be equal.
Even if Bangladesh loses, there is a chance, but in that case Maldives will also lose. In that case, those who will be in the most advantageous position between Bhutan, Bangladesh and Maldives will get the semi-final ticket.