Bangladesh came away with a point from their third group match of the Joint Qualification Round for the FIFA World Cup 2022 and AFC Asian Cup 2023 against India in Kolkata Tuesday, but will rue the opportunity they missed to bag the full 3 points, having had their hosts on the backfoot for almost the full 90 minutes.
In the end, the match in front of a full house at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in football-mad Salt Lake ended in a 1-1 draw, courtesy of an 89th minute equalizer by Indian centre-back Adil Khan, that cancelled out a first-half strike by Bangladesh’s Saad Uddin.
India and Bangladesh last met in a World Cup qualifier back in 1985, ahead of Mexico ’86. On that occasion, Bangladesh suffered a pair of 2-1 defeats.
In today’s game though, Bangladesh created several close chances from their clever counter-attacks and were very much good value for their lead at half-time.
In the 11th minute, Bangladesh goalkeeper Ashraful Islam Rana smartly denied a close header from defender Rahul Bheke.
Bangladesh could have opened their account in the 32nd minute but Biplu Ahamed missed a close chance.
Hosts Indi, got a chance in the 35th minute but goalkeeper Rana denied that effort.
The men in red and green finally broke the deadlock in the 42nd minute whenpromising forward Saad Uddin sent the ball into net with a low-range header, utilising a long free-kick by captain Jamal Bhuiyan from outside the box (1-0).
With the 1-0 lead, motivated Bangladeshi booters started to dominate the match from the beginning of 2nd half.
In a span of five minutes, forward Nabib Newaz Ziban and Mohammad Ibrahim missed two close chances to widen the margin for Bangladesh.
In the 51st minute, Indian goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh denied a nice effort sticking his right leg while Ziban volleyed the ball in the net from the danger zone and midfielder Ibrahim missed the target as his close range touched the bar.
In the 73rd minute, Indian defender Adil Khan made a goal line save with his keeper beaten by a delightful chip from Ziban.
In the 84th minute, substitute forward Mahbubur Rahman missed another chance from inside the box.
India finally got the relief in the 89th minute while defender Adil Khan equalized the margin with a header off a quickly taken corner. Bangladesh coach Jamie Day may havce some words for his defenders, who failed to man the posts for such a crucial set-play defending a one-goal lead.
The game saw getting two yellow cards — Anas Edathodika of India and Jamal Bhuiyan of Bangladesh.
Bangladesh, who was put on Group E of the AFC Cup with Qatar, Oman, neighboring India and Afghanistan, are yet to open their account.
The men in red and green started their campaign with a 0-1 goal defeat against Afghanistan in their first match in the Tajik capital Dushanbe on September 10 and conceded a 0-2 goals defeat against Asian Champions Qatar in their second match in Dhaka on October 10.
In the remaining group matches, Bangladesh will play Oman on November 14 in Oman, Afghanistan on March 26 next year in Bangladesh, Qatar on March 31 in Qatar, India on June 4 in Bangladesh and Oman on June 9 in Bangladesh.
On the other hand, India are now in 4th slot of the point table securing 2 points from two matches with one draw and one defeat.
Bangladesh: Ashraful Islam Rana, Rahmat Mia, Yeasin Khan, Jamal Bhuiyan, Biplu Ahamed, Nabib Newaz Ziban (Mahbubur Rahman-77th), Sohel Rana, Mohammad Ibrahim(Rabiul Hasan-79th), Riyadul Hasan (Bishwanath Ghosh-72nd), Saad Uddin, Rayhan Hasan,
India: Gurpreet Singh, Rahul Bheke, Adil Khan, Anirudh Thapa (Raynier Fernandes-67th), Sahal Abdul Samad, Sunil Chhetri, Manvir Singh, Udanta Singh, Muhammed Ashique Kuruniyan Mandar Rao Dessai (Brandon Fernandes-56th), Anas Edathodika (Lallianzuala Chhangte-76th).
Referee: Masoud Tufaylieh (Syria).unb