A 10-man Bangladesh crashed out of the five-nation SAFF Championship 2021 after playing out to 1-1 draw with Nepal in their last league match at the National Football Stadium in Male Wednesday.
Nepal will play the final on October 16 at 9pm Bangladesh time against hosts Maldives or India.
In Wednesday’s other crucial match at 10pm, the league leader Maldives will play third-placed India, who have not yet conceded any defeat, Bangladesh time to clinch a berth in the final.
The Maldives, who dominated the league table with six points from three matches after beating Sri Lanka 1-0, Bangladesh 2-0 and conceding 0-1 defeat against Nepal, need a draw against India to confirm their place in the final. But India will have to win the match to do so.
Bangladesh needed a win in Wednesday’s match against Nepal to reach the SAFF final after 16 years, but a controversial penalty in the 88th-minute saw Nepal bounce back and manage a 1-1 draw.
Earlier, Simon Reza put Bangladesh ahead in the 9th minute with a brilliant header from a Jamal Bhuiyan free kick (1-0).
After leading most of the match 1-0, Bangladesh were down to 10-man as goalkeeper Anisur Rahman Zico got a straight red card in the 79th minute. Zico handled the ball outside the box after charging down a Nepal player.
Oscar Bruzon’s men finished fourth in the SAFF Championship with five points from four matches. Nepal marched to the final with seven points from four matches.
In the last three encounters, Bangladesh and Nepal won one match each, and the other one ended in a goalless draw.