It was a completely different performance by the home side, in comparison to the Bangladesh Olympic team’s promising display in the Asian Games 2018 in Indonesia
A lacklustre display by Bangladesh saw them concede a shocking 1-0 defeat against Sri Lanka in a Fifa friendly at the jam-packed Sheikh Kamal Stadium in Nilphamari Wednesday.
It was a completely different performance by the home side, in comparison to the Bangladesh Olympic team’s promising display in the Asian Games 2018 in Indonesia. Nine out of the 11 regular starting XI Asiad players were given rest, with the exception of defender Tutul Hossain Badshah, who surprisingly started the game, while midfielder Jamal Bhuiyan made a substitute appearance.
The senior booters were given the priority, only to disappoint the English head coach Jamie Day with a lack of chances created, crosses and a disorganised performance throughout the tie, which means, they are likely to get less priority for the Saff Championship in Dhaka next month.
Left winger Rabiul Hasan was rewarded with his first ever starting XI appearance for his superb display as a substitute against North Korea during the Round of 16 at the Asiad. Shakhawat Hossain Rony took the centre forward role with Fazley Rabbi on the right wing and Sohel Rana deployed just behind the striker.
Mamunul Islam captained the side and took control of midfield, along with Emon Babu. Shahidul Alam Sohel started between the posts in the absence of Ashraful Islam Rana and was responsible for conceding the opening goal.
Bangladesh forwards lacked finishing touches upfront from the very beginning. Rabiul, surrounded by a couple of Sri Lankan defenders, couldn’t connect a cross from Rony from the top of the box in the eighth minute.
Fazal Mohamad put the visitor ahead two minutes later with a surprising long-range shot. Fazal’s looping effort from around 30 yards away beat the tall Bangladesh goalkeeper Sohel, who was a bit ahead of the six-yard box but failed to respond at the same time as the scorer.
It was a heartbreaking moment for more than 20, 000 spectators present at the stadium and all of them went into deep silence after the goal. Bangladesh booters failed to create any clear-cut chances which could bring the crowd back to their feet, even for a moment.
Bangladesh dominated possession but failed to penetrate the opponent defence. There were a couple of decent build-up plays in the 17th and 25th minute, but Rony shot wide on both the occasions.
Day brought in youngsters Jafar Iqbal and Jewel Rana early in the second half, in place of Rabbi and Rabiul, on the wings but they too seemed to struggle to find their rhythm. Jamal replaced Mamunul later while Rahmat Mia and Nabib Newaj Jibon were also introduced in the second half, but none could make any notable impact collectively.
It was however, a big day for Sri Lanka, who played an international match after almost two years with Packeer Ali guiding the team to their first victory against Bangladesh for the first time in eight years. The last time the Lankans beat Bangladesh was in the AFC Challenge Cup where the former registered a 3-0 win.
Packeer, the former Lt. Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club Limited head coach, took over the responsibility of Sri Lanka five months ago and brought in many youngsters into the team as eight players made their international debut Wednesday.
The roads leading to the match venue, the Kaborsthan and Ukiler Mor, took the mood of a fair with both the roadsides filled up by various temporary shops selling mini Bangladesh flags, multi-designed caps in red and green colours, along with vuvuzelashttps://t.co/428hUBbWh1#BFF— Dhaka Tribune Sports (@Sport_DT) August 29, 2018
Bangladesh playing XI
Shahidul Alam Sohel; Nasir Uddin Chowdhury, Waly Faisal, Tutul Hossain Badshah (Monjurur Rahman), Faisal Mahmud; Emon Mahmud (Rahmat Miah), Mamunul Islam (Jamal Bhuiyan), Sohel Rana, Fazley Rabbi (Jewel Rana), Rabiul Hasan (Jafar Iqbal); Shakawat Hossain Rony (Matin Miah)
Bangladesh 0 1 Sri Lanka (Fazal 10)