Bangladesh skipper Tapu Barman scored the all important equalizer in the 84th minute
Bangladesh men’s national football team earned an impressive point in the FIFA World Cup 2022 and Asian Cup 2023 qualifier as they drew 1-1 against much stronger Afghanistan on Thursday.
Bangladesh skipper Tapu Barman scored the all important equalizer in the 84th minute after Amiruddin Mohammad gave Afghanistan lead in the 48th minute at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Qatar.
Bangladesh coach Jamie Day, expectedly, took a defensive tactic against physically much stronger and higher-ranked side by fielding a 4-2-3-1 formation with the intention of low block defense.
Jamie handed debut to Tariq Kazi and the Finland-born right-back was impressive along with other defenders as they created heavy shield by maintaining excellent defensive line and blocking the half spaces as well as the passing lanes.
Afghanistan on the other hand were in all-out attack mood but failed to breach Bangladesh defense. As a matter of fact the men in Red and Green got the first chance when Mashuk Mia Jony beat outside trap and entered into the opponent box but there was nobody else to convert his cross.
Afghanistan got close to score one but Bangladesh goalkeeper Zico parried Farshad Noor’s shot for a corner in 31st minute before Motin Mia’s shot went wide off the Afghan post in 39th minute.
Bangladesh defenders lost their concentration momentarily just after the break and Ahmed Najam made a cutback before setting up an easy placing goal for Amir Sharifi.
It seemed on that point Afghanistan, who beat Bangladesh in their previous encounter of the campaign by 1-0 in Tajikistan, will take dominance but Jamie Day’s men defied the odds.
They regained their stubbornness in the defense and Day, who looked immaculate with his technique and passionate with constant shouting from the sideline, made important substitutions.
On 73rd minute he made a double substitution by fielding Mohammad Rana and Mehei Royal in place of Zoni and Biplu Ahmed but the second such act of the British tactician proved he was brave enough to earn at least a point. Day brought two attack minded players- debutant striker Mohammad Abdullah and Rimon Hossain- in place of Rakib Hossain and Rahmat Mia, who was phenomenal in the left-back position throughout the match.
The substitutions changed the tempo of the game as Bangladesh press forward and Tapu scored a sublime goal from the pressure that was exerted by his spirited side. On 84th minute following a clearance of a Bangladesh free-kick Riyadul Hasan headed the ball to Tapu in the Afghan box and the skipper took an inch-perfect placing shot between two defenders that evaded the goalkeeper for an equalizer.
Afghanistan went close to a winning goal but Sharifi’s header from the box in the 91st minute went wide and they had to be content with a single point from the match.
This is the second draw for Bangladesh, the bottom ranked team in Group E. The men in Red and Green also drew against India at Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata last year. Bangladesh will play their next match against India on Monday.