Host Bangladesh are pointless from one match and will take on the Lankans Sunday at the same venue to determine the other semi-finalist from the group
Palestine scored two stoppage time goals against Sri Lanka Friday at Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka and became the first team to qualify for the semi-final of the sixth edition of the Bangabandhu Gold Cup.
Palestine have maximum six points from two matches, while Pakir Ali’s Sri Lanka are yet to open their account in one game.
Host Bangladesh are also pointless from one match and will now take on the Lankans Sunday at the same venue to determine the other semi-finalist from the group.
In the event of a stalemate in normal time, the Bangladesh-Sri Lanka game will roll into the tie-breaker.
Palestine could’ve broken the deadlock in just the third minute when midfielder Rami Almasalma shot straight into the body of the Sri Lanka goalkeeper.
Forward Reebal Dahamshi’s back volley from the resulting ball missed the post by a whisker.
In the remainder of the first half, the Lankan backline held firm to keep the Palestinians attackers at bay.
Palestine started the second half in the same fashion as one of Sami’s shots was blocked by a Lankan defender in the 55th minute.
Midfielder Dawoud Iraqi then missed a golden opportunity in the 71st minute when he shot straight at the Lankan keeper.
Palestine finally took the lead in the third minute of time added on as captain Mahmoud Abuwarda’s bullet header from substitute Sameh Maraaba's cross found the back of the net.
Another substitute Khaled Salem doubled the lead three minutes later from a counterattack.
Palestine assistant coach Fahad Attel expressed delight after qualifying for the semis and said they now have one eye on the final.
Pakir in contrast cut a frustrated figure but refused to give up hope of advancing to the last four.
Palestine 2 (Mahmoud 90+3, Salem 90+6) 0 Sri Lanka
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