Mongolia holds wasteful Bangladesh
A Mongolian player spoils an attempt by Bangladesh striker Mohammad Ibrahim (R) during their FIFA international friendly match at Sylhet district stadium in Sylhet on Tuesday. — Photo best friend
Bangladesh football team squandered a golden chance for an international victory as they were held to a goalless draw by Mongolia in their FIFA international friendly match at the Sylhet district stadium in Sylhet Tuesday.
The last time Bangladesh won an international match was in November last year, when they beat the Maldives in the four-nation tournament in Sri Lanka.
With no friendlies in the near future and tough Asian Cup qualifiers against Turkmenistan, Malaysia and Bahrain in June, this was probably the easiest chance for Bangladesh to win a game to restore confidence.
Although the draw was a collective failure for the team, striker Sumon Reza’s bad luck and missteps were hard to ignore.
The Bashundhara Kings forward hit the woodwork once and wasted two excellent first-half chances as the hosts’ early promise crumbled after the break.
The hosts have started with two changes since losing 0-2 to the Maldives in Male last week.
Rimon Hossain replaces the slightly injured Bishwanath Ghosh at right-back and Atiqur Rahman Fahad takes on the defensive midfield role in a switch to the 4-1-4-1 formation from the 4-4-2 employed in the last game.
Bangladesh got off to an impressive start with Rakib Hossain almost creating a scoring chance in the opening minute with a fine low cross from the left, but Sumon couldn’t get into a good position as the Mongolian keeper’s block fell in. no man’s land inside the box.
Young left-back Yeasin Arafat then produced an excellent through ball for Mohammad Ibrahim on the quarter-minute but the right-winger lost his balance in his attempt to control the ball inside the box.
Sumon came close to scoring his second international goal in the 41st minute when he turned heel on a through ball from Sohel Rana and deftly dodged two defenders, but his shot rattled the crossbar.
The Kings striker squandered the game’s easiest chance four minutes into stoppage time, smashing a volley over the bar from close range after a Yeasin header from a free kick by captain Jamal Bhuiyan.
Ibrahim and Rakib continued to switch flanks as Bangladesh grew increasingly desperate in search of a goal.
Sumon was replaced by Nabib Newaz Jibon within 60 minutes but Bangladesh started to lose momentum.
Jamal’s shot from a low Rimon cross was punched brilliantly by the Mongolian keeper in the 71st minute before the skipper made way for local Biplu Ahmed.
Bangladesh coach Javier Cabrera, who had hoped for victory in front of a large home crowd, made four more substitutions but the home side looked less likely to score.
The visitors, who sit two places above the hosts in the FIFA rankings, had no impact on the game.