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Day: This one tops the Qatar game

  • Published at 10:46 pm October 16th, 2019
(R-L) Bangladesh coach Jamie Day, Saad Uddin, Rayhan Hasan and Ashraful Islam Rana are all smiles following their arrival in Dhaka Wednesday Dhaka Tribune/Md Manik

The BFF officials and a tiny group of football fans welcomed the national team with flowers at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport Wednesday

Jamie Day had earlier termed Bangladesh’s performance against Qatar at home as the best ever since he took charge around one and a half years ago, but it took the English coach less than a week to guide the national team to another heroic display against India and according to him, the latest one topped the last.

The mastermind of Bangladesh football’s recent phenomena, Day and the scorer of India game, Saad Uddin talked to the reporters after the team returned home Wednesday evening. 

The BFF officials and a tiny group of football fans welcomed the national team with flowers at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport Wednesday.

Bangladesh have played 15 matches since Day joined as head coach, winning seven matches, drawing two and losing the remaining six encounters but Day termed his side’s 1-1 draw against India at Salt Lake Stadium Tuesday the best ever after their 2-0 defeat against Asian champion Qatar.

Day said, “I think this one tops that. The boys showed a different type of level – to go away from home and play in front of 80,000 people, sticking to the gameplan for 88 minutes. Like I said, it was unfortunate that we conceded in the end but I’d still suggest that it was the best, complete performance by Bangladesh.

“I think we played extremely well. All credit goes to the players. They stuck to the gameplan and performed exceptionally well in a tough environment. We look disappointed since we couldn’t hold out for the win but I think, credit to all the players who were simply fantastic,” the Englishman added.

The finishing remained a concern as Bangladesh created more than half-a-dozen chances against Qatar but couldn’t avail any, while there were three notable chances denied, apart from the only goal, against India.

“It’s just cruel to concede with only a couple of minutes left on the clock. I don’t think it was the lack of finishing; we cleared one off the line too while defending. [Mohammad] Ibrahim and Rafi did exceptionally well, [Ashraful Islam] Rana made good saves. Yes I am disappointed that we couldn’t score a second goal but if you look at the whole game, we’ve done exceptionally well,” said Day.

Day’s first assignment was the Asian Games 2018 where the Bangladesh Olympic team made history by qualifying for the knockout stages. 

Saad scored Bangladesh’s only goal against giant North Korea in the knockout phase. 

The 21-year old made his senior team debut during the Saff Championship 2018, a month later before netting his first international goal against India Tuesday.

“When we got on the pitch, we went there to win. I got a chance and converted it,” said Saad about the goal in front of the largest crowd he has ever faced. 

“We performed according to our part. The team combination is good. It would have been a different feeling if we had won the game.”  

Meanwhile, most of the players will have little rest due to the Sheikh Kamal International Club Cup, which is getting underway in Chittagong Saturday. 

Premier League champion Bashundhara Kings and runners-up Abahani Limited will participate in the tournament and the two clubs have 15 players in the national squad. 

Captain Jamal Bhuiyan, a Saif Sporting Club player, will be playing for Chittagong Abahani Limited as a loanee, and will leave Dhaka for the port city Thursday.