Bangladesh will host India, Oman and Afghanistan in the rest of the second round fixtures in 2021
It would have been better for Bangladesh head coach had they avoided the injury-time goal but Jamie Day took positives from the game and hailed his young charges for the effort they put in against the Asian champion, despite shorter preparation time after the long pandemic break.
Qatar, sitting 125 places above in the ranking, were all over the visiting side.
The Group E leader dominated ball possession and created numerous goalscoring chances during the 5-0 win at the 2022 World Cup and Asian Cup 2023 joint qualification stage, but Bangladesh didn’t let it go that easily despite the huge disparity.
“I think the boys have been absolutely brilliant,” said the 41-year old English tactician in the post-match conference.
“My only disappointment is that we conceded one more goal in injury time. I think 4-0 would have looked better.”
He continued, “But I can’t blame the effort of the players because they played four friendly games in five weeks of training and you are expecting to come out perform [better] is a big ask for any team.”
The average age of Bangladesh’s starting XI was slightly below 23, which equates to an Olympic team, and the young booters have been playing together for only a couple of years.
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A few key players were missing up front including Nabib Newaj Jibon who was brought on only as a substitute for not being fully fit.
“If Jibon was fit he probably would have started. But he is injured. If you look at the team the average age is 22 or 23. I have a young squad, it was great to perform in the way they did. We have not got same ability as Qatar in terms of keeping the ball and technique but they gave 100%, which is what I asked for and they worked extremely hard to get as fit as they could in short time to play against a very, very good team.
“I learned again that we are hard team to play against regardless of score. We gave opportunity to young players to play this game which was fantastic. Credit to the players because they worked hard and we have not played for eight months before five weeks’ training.
“I’m really proud of the boys. They played Asian champion and we defended very well. We can take out positives of the day when we play three games next year,” said the Bangladesh coach while replying to a different query.
It was the first competitive international match in Asia since the Covid-19 pandemic began.
Bangladesh will host India, Oman and Afghanistan in the rest of the second round fixtures in 2021.