Milon Hossain struck two minutes before the final whistle as Bangladesh held off a spirited challenge from Sri Lanka in the first semifinal of the Asian Games Qualifiers hockey in Muscat on Thursday. Pool A toppers Bangladesh were stunned when Pool B second-placed Sri Lanka hit the target first in the game at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex. Sandaruwan Sudusinghe put the Lankans ahead in the 34th minute.
Bangladesh, ranked 30 in the world, regrouped and Roman Sarkar found the equaliser with a field goal in the 49th minute.
Two minutes later, world No 38 Sri Lanka retook the lead with Dhammika Ranasingha converting a penalty stroke to make it 2-1.
Roman Sarkar pulled one back within a minute from a penalty corner as scores were equal again.
There were intense actions in the final ten minutes and it was Bangladesh who came out on top with a 58th minute goal to seal the final spot. In the fifth to eighth classification matches earlier, Chinese Taipei sinked Afghanistan 14-1 and Kazakhstan scraped past Hong Kong 4-3.