SAFF Cup: Host nation Bangladesh knocked out, Pakistan makes semis after 13 years

Bangladesh was knocked out of the 2018 SAFF Cup after a 2-0 loss against Nepal, while Pakistan defeated Bhutan 3-0 to progress to the semifinal.

Nepal's Bimal Gharti Magar celebrates after scoring the opening goal against Bangladesh in their Group A SAFF Championship match on Saturday.   -  [email protected]

Host nation Bangladesh was knocked out of the 2018 SAFF Championship after the side suffered a 2-0 loss to Nepal in its final Group A match at Dhaka's Bangabandhu National Stadium on Saturday. In the other game of the day, Pakistan soared into the semifinal by defeating Bhutan 3-0.

Interestingly, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh all finished the group stage with six points from three games but Bangladesh won't make the semis owing to an unfavourable goal difference.

Bangladesh came into the match against needing a win to progress but was undone by the Nepali side. Bimal Gharti Magar scored the opener in the 33rd minute, while Nawayug Shrestha struck in the dying seconds to seal the win. The loss ended Bangladesh's hopes of reaching the last-four stage for the first time since 2009.

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Meanwhile, Pakistan had a relatively easy outing against Bhutan. Midfielder Muhammad Riaz found the back of the net in the 20th minute and Hassan Bashir added the second goal nine minutes later to put Pakistan comfortably ahead. Substitute Faheem Ahmed came off the bench to score an injury time winner to book his side's berth in the semfinal. This is Pakistan's first semifinal appearance since 2005.

The other two semifinalists will be decided when India faces Maldives in its final Group B match on Sunday. India has all but sealed its spot in the last-four while Maldives will need at least a draw to progress.