In their last group game of Asian Games football, Bangladesh defeated Qatar by 1-0 and ensure the second round of the Asian Games for the first time ever.
In fact, Bangladesh reached the second round of the Asian Games for the first time in their football history. More interestingly, Bangladesh is currently standing 96 steps behind from the 2022 World Cup host Qatar in the FIFA ranking.
Can you imagine that due to their disbelief on the team’s performance, management confirms the advance return ticket of a team? Yes, this was done by Bangladesh Football Federation. The Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) had prebooked the return ticket on 21 August for the Bangladesh U-23 team. But BFF does not seem to be unhappy to cancel the ticket now. Because, by an outstanding achievement, the boys have made the Indonesia trip longer than the management has thought.
In their first match, Bangladesh lost 3-0 to Uzbekistan. But in the second match, Bangladesh went on to a remarkable 1-1 draw with Thailand. Then the calculation came into play.
If Bangladesh can beat Qatar, and Thailand lose to Uzbekistan, then the second round ticket will be on for Bangladesh. Drawing with Qatar, there was a slight chance if the Thai would lose to Uzbeks by at least four goals. That was the actual equation. However, Bangladesh is in the second round by fulfilling the equation as the group runners-up.
To make history, you have to win. Bangladesh Coach Jamie Day’s disciples knew it straightway. And the went down to the field with this mantra strongly inside their mind.
But Bangladesh starts the match by missing two easy scoring opportunities. Bangladeshi Striker Shufil was the culprit in both the occasions. Once his left foot shot went out with almost making a feather touch to the second bar of Qatar’s goalpost. Later on, in the 17th minute, he missed the easiest chance of the match. He received a sudden ball on the edge of the Qatar box. While he only had to beat the lonely goalkeeper to place the ball into the net, but he failed to do so.
However, Qatar could get the lead before the break. Qatar took a free kick from just outside of Bangladesh’s box, unfortunately, the ball came back by hitting the post only. This is how the first half ends with attacks and counter attacks.
Lamentably, Bangladesh missed a chance at the beginning of the second half as well. Striker Biplu took a shot on goal from inside of the box, but Qatar’s goalkeeper deceived it quite well. After that, Qatar tried to attack for several times, but they couldn’t be able to make a mark on the scoresheet. And so the fate of the match was almost written by a goalless Draw.
But there is a word, “All’s well that ends well”. The scheduled 90 minutes was over, but the real drama of the match was yet to come.
In the third minute of the injury time, Bangladesh Captain Jamal Bhuiyan ran into Qatar’s D box from the left side. Before Qatar goalkeeper assumes something, Jamal took the shot with his right foot. His rolling shot went into the net by the bottom left corner of the post. And with this goal, he made the unique history of Bangladesh football. Bangladesh has confirmed in the second round of Asian Games for the first time ever in the history.
Indeed, this achievement deserves a huge celebration for Bangladesh football. This win has given a new hope of horizon for country’s sleeping football. Now the second round is in front, but there is nothing to lose for Bangladesh here. So there is no pressure of expectations on them.
Literally, this so far achievement is a big mark to Bangladesh’s football. Bangladesh has got back their lost self-confidence from Indonesia. Bangladesh football will go ahead with this boosted confidence level. This is the hope of billions of Bangladeshi football fans. We hope that as well.