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Reaction: Afghanistan-Bangladesh WC, Asian Cup Qualifier

  • Published at 09:12 pm September 11th, 2019
Afghanistan
Action from the World Cup, Asian Cup Joint Qualifiers match between Afghanistan and Bangladesh in Dushanbe Tuesday AFF

“The result is fine. They are a strong team and deserved the win. Of course there are lots of room for improvement. We should improve technically where we lacked behind them in the game. But we are on the right track. The team are improving day by day,” said Salahuddin

Taking notes from the 4-0 defeat against Afghanistan in the Saff Championship four years ago, Tuesday’s 1-0 defeat against the same team with a different group of players showed that Bangladesh still lag behind the Afghans technically, but the men in red and green have improved in terms of fitness and defence more than before.

Bangladesh Football Federation president and former legendary striker Kazi Salahuddin was content with the result but also stretched on where they need to improve. 

“The result is fine. They are a strong team and deserved the win. Of course there are lots of room for improvement. We should improve technically where we lacked behind them in the game. But we are on the right track. The team are improving day by day,” said Salahuddin.

National team manager and also a former footballer, Satyajit Das Rupu was happy with how his team appeared in the second half with better stamina against a more physical side but admitted that Nabib Newaj Jibon could have scored a goal before being charged in the 93rd minute.

“They dominated ball possession in the first half but we didn’t allow them spaces to create scoring chances except the goal. They looked a little bit tired in the second half where we were ahead of them in terms of fitness. We will be prepared to do better in the home matches,” said Rupu after landing in Dhaka Wednesday.

While talking about the only goal in the game, former national team head coach Saiful Bari Titu said it could have been different had goalkeeper Ashraful Islam Rana tried to save the ball with a single hand instead of extending both.

“Bangladesh played good defensively but one moment of carelessness cost them the goal,” said Titu, before adding, “Afghanistan are technically a far better team. They have better skilled players. The moment we won the ball the next we lost possession. We couldn’t break their defence on the counter.”

Titu added, “Overall, Bangladesh fought well against a side who are ahead of us in every aspect. We didn’t allow them enough space. The four defenders played well, Jamal (Bhuiyan) and Sohel (Rana) worked hard in midfield but Biplu (Ahmed) seemed to be little bit off in attacking midfield. We could have involved more players during the counter attacks.”

Former national captain Mamunul Islam was also in the team in 2015 but this time around, the midfielder watched the game from the bench. 

He said, “Afghanistan are a far better team and they have top-class players, most of whom play in Europe. We played against them in the Saff Championship four years ago. They are as strong as before but we improved as a team.”