Bangladesh qualified for the semi-final of the Youth Olympic Hockey Qualifiers after drawing 3-3 with Group B rival Pakistan at Bangkok, Thailand Friday.
Zulquarnain and Mortuza gave Pakistan a 2-0 lead in the first half before Sohanur Rahman Sabuj pulled one back in the second half. Pakistan though made it 3-1 in the third half when Mortuza scored his second. Bangladesh however, yet again scripted a comeback, making it 3-3, courtesy goals from Abed Uddin and Sabuj.
Earlier in their fourth and penultimate group stage match against Chinese Taipei Friday at the same venue, the youngsters in red and green romped to a 12-2 victory.
With three victories, one loss and as many draw, Bangladesh finished second in Group B with 10 points. Malaysia topped the group with maximum 15 points while Pakistan finished third with eight points. Chinese Taipei, Singapore and Cambodia ended fourth, fifth and six respectively with seven, three and zero points accordingly.
In the last four, Bangladesh will take on Group A champion India Saturday at 5pm while in the second semi-final, Malaysia will face South Korea an hour later.
Bangladesh earlier began their campaign with a 10-4 win over Singapore Wednesday. A day later, the Bangladesh youth thumped Cambodia 20-0 before losing to Malaysia 7-4.
Bangladesh are targeting one of two berths in the final round of the Youth Olympic Hockey, scheduled to be hosted by Buenos Aires in October this year.
The nine-member Bangladesh team left Dhaka for Thailand Tuesday. The tournament is being held in accordance with the five-a-side format.
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 Shaon 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.