Bangladesh might have missed out on a final round berth but they ensured ending the Youth Olympic Hockey Qualifiers on a winning note as they edged powerhouse South Korea 5-4 in Bangkok, Thailand Sunday in the third place decider.
Abed Uddin, Mehedi Hasan and Sarwar Shaon gave Bangladesh a 3-0 lead in the first half. In the second half, Sohanur Rahman Sabuj made it 4-0 before the Koreans pulled one back. Although South Korea equalised in the last half an hour, Sabuj bagged the winner to give Bangladesh a consolation win.
India and Malaysia qualified for the final round with the former clinching the Qualifiers title after beating the latter 2-1 in the shootout in the final at the same venue Sunday. The score was locked at 4-4 after regulation time.
Earlier, the youngsters in red and green failed to advance to the final round, scheduled to be hosted by Buenos Aires in October this year, after losing to India 9-2 in the semi-final Saturday. Bangladesh youth advanced to the last four after finishing as the runners-up side of Group B, behind Malaysia.
In the group stage, Bangladesh drew 3-3 with Pakistan, beat Chinese Taipei 12-2 Friday. They defeated Cambodia 20-0 before losing to Malaysia 7-4 Thursday. Bangladesh opened their campaign with 10-4 win over Singapore Wednesday.
The tournament was held in accordance with the five-a-side format. The nine-member Bangladesh team left Dhaka for Thailand Tuesday.
All the nine players are students of BKSP, among which six participated at the recently concluded Club Cup Tournament. Sabuj, Mohammad Mohsin and Mohammad Mehedi played for Abahani Limited, Shishir and Sarwar represented Mariner Youngs Club while Rokibul Hasan featured for Victoria Sporting Club.
It should be mentioned that Bangladesh had qualified for the final round of the Nanjing Youth Olympics four years ago in China.