Two late goals within a span of three minutes steered tournament favorite Palestine as the first team to move to the semi-final of the Bangabandhu Gold Cup International Football tournament beating Sri Lanka by 2-0 goals in their second and last group A match held on Friday at Bangabandhu National Stadium here.
With this day's victory, Palestine also emerged as group A champions with six points following their 2-0 goals victory over Bangladesh in the tournament opening match.
The day's defeat of Sri Lanka means, it will be a must win game for Sri Lanka in order to book the place for the semifinal. Bangladesh also will have to win against Sri Lanka to stay in the tournament race. The match will be held on Sunday (January 19) at the same venue.
In the day's match, Palestine dominated the proceeding creating number of opportunities but in front of Sri Lankan packed defence they hardly were able to score any goals.
When it seemed that the match was heading for a draw, Palestine skipper Mahmoud Abuwarda finally broke the deadlock scoring the first goal in the 93rd minute with a brilliant header from close range.
Three minutes later, Khaled Selim sealed the victory scoring the second goal for Palestine with a placing shot from inside the D box after dodging past Sri Lankan goalie who came forward to clear the ball.
After the match, Sri Lankan head coach Packeer Ali said boys lost the concentration in the last moments which saw them conceded two very late goals in injury time.
He said he was happy over his boys' performance against Palestine as they are really strong opponents.
Packeer said as it would be must win game for Bangladesh so they would come all out to stay in the tournament race.
The Sri Lankan coach said it was tough match for his side compared to Bangladesh's match against Palestine.
He also praised his defenders as they kept the defence packed in the whole ninety minutes.
Palestine head coach Fahad Aten also expressed over the boys' day's performance against Sri Lanka and hoped to maintain the winning consistency in the semifinal.
He informed that five news players were given chance in the team against Sri Lanka for experimental purpose.
Replying to a question, Aten said boys did not get early goals as five new players in the squad and Sri Lanka played defence football in the whole ninety minutes.
Saturday's match: Burundi vs Seychelles at 5 pm.