Bangladesh U-20 football team entered the final of the ongoing SAFF U-20 Championship crushing Maldives by 4-1 goals in their third group match at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, India on Friday (Jul 29).
Mirajul Islam completed a hat-trick scoring three goals in the 18th, 21st and 42nd minutes while Rafiqul Islam added one in the 31st minute. Zain Zafar netted the consolation goal for Maldives in the 53rd minute.
With the feat, Bangladesh consolidated the top slot of the points table with 9 points from three wins and entered into the final with one match to spare. They will now take on Nepal in their last group match on Aug 2 while the final will be held on Aug 5, all at the same venue.
Maldives, who started their campaign conceding a 0-4 defeat to Nepal, are facing an elimination threat.
Meanwhile, the two-time runners-up Bangladesh started their campaign by beating Sri Lanka by a 1-0 goal while they defeated the hosts and defending champions India by 2-1.
Earlier, the hosts India beat Sri Lanka by 4-0 in the other match at the same venue.
Parthib Sundar Gogoi netted two goals in the 69th and 90+3rd minutes while Himanshu Jangra and Gurkirat Singh contributed one each in the 50th and 74th minute.
After the day’s victory, India opened their account in the points table while Sri Lanka were eliminated from the competition.