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Bangladesh enter Fifa World Cup qualifiers with goalless draw against Laos

  • Published at 08:57 pm June 11th, 2019
Bangladesh football
An action from the match between Bangladesh and Laos at Bangabandhu National Stadium on Tuesday. Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

Bangladesh’s 1-0 away win was enough but the hosts failed to capitalize on some chances

Bangladesh made it to the second round of the Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup 2023 Preliminary Joint Qualification after a goalless draw against Laos in the second leg at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday evening.

Bangladesh’s 1-0 away win was enough but the hosts failed to capitalize on some chances especially striker Nabib Newaz Ziban, who went close to scoring twice in the opening half and once in the second half, to pull off a another win.

Earlier, Bangladesh made two changes from their away tie, bringing in Rabiul Hasan and Mamunul Islam in place of Matin Miah and Arifur Rahman. Rabiul started on the left wing along with Ziban as the center forward while Mamun partnered Jamal Bhuiyan in the midfield. The defence remained unchanged.

Laos goalkeeper Xaysavath made a brilliant save in the 25th minute to deny Ziban’s effort from the right side of the box. A fine long ball from Rabiul allowed the Abahani Limited man to go close to scoring in the 38th minute, after he sent the ball over the keeper but failed to place it in an empty post. In the 53rd minute, Ziban’s poor header off Ibrahim’s cross didn’t trouble the keeper.

Laos failed to create any clear chances despite getting four corners in the first 20 minutes as Bangladesh exhibited better defensive performance from the away game. The home side enjoyed more possession afterwards.

Earlier, Ziban had a half-chance in the 16th minute but he shot straight to keeper from the left side of the box after receiving a pass from Mashuk Miah Zoni. Rabiul, who scored the winner at the away fixture, tried his luck from outside the box in the 20th minute but the shot went straight to the keeper. Yeasin Khan headed one from close-range off a Jamal corner but it flew off by the post.

Bangladesh’s coach Jamie Day made two changes in the second half to strengthen his attacking options with forwards Md Ibrahim and Mahbubur Rahman Sufil replacing Biplo Ahmed and Zoni. Ibrahim had a fine chance in the 88th minute but couldn’t hit the target from middle of the box following Sohel Rana’s cross.

“Delighted to get through,” said Day during the post-match press conference.

“We had the best chances in the game, especially four good ones and we couldn’t take it. We have done enough to win the game. The chances we created, I see them score in training. If we had taken the chances, the game would have been little easier,” said the British coach.

 “I’m not worried about our performance, not about missed chances. Tonight, the boys need to enjoy the moment knowing that all their hard work over the years is now worth it.”

Skipper Jamal Bhuiyan said it was a different game with different tactics after the misfiring display. “May be we didn’t play our best but we got the result which is the most important thing.”

Laos coach V Sundram Moorthy praised his boys for their “good performance” and felt that they were unlucky not to win the game with all the chances they had.

Bangladesh Xl- Ashraful Islam Rana (Gk), Md Rahmat Miah, Md Yeasin Khan, Tutul Hossain Badsha, Bishwanath Ghosh, Jamal Bhuiyan (c), Md Mamunul Islam, Mohammad Nabib Ziban, Masuk Miah Zoni, Biplo Ahmed (Md Ibrahim), Mohammad Rabiul Hasan (Sohel Rana).