Bangladesh head coach Lodewijk de Kruif pointed out the difference in standard between Syria and his team as the home side suffered a 4-0 defeat in the AFC Under-23 Championship Group E Qualifiers at Bangabandhu National Stadium.
“It was like big boys versus school boys. It’s the quality of highest level. I think you will admit that Syria were physically and technically superior. At the moment we cannot compete with teams like Syria. However, it’s football and we have to take the steps to improve in the future,” De Kruif told the media after the game.
De Kruif noted that nine of his eleven players appeared nervous in the initial stages of the game. “They were very nervous and failed to keep possession. You can see the fouls and the free-kicks. It was the consequence of nervousness. They are committing the same mistakes. However, in the second half they were better. I think the experience of playing against a strong team like Syria is a good experience for the boys,” said the Dutchman.
Syria coach Muhannad al Fakir on the contrary said he was well aware of the weak points of Bangladesh. “We started with all-out attacks and we knew that it could unsettle Bangladesh. We are happy to start with a win, especially against the hosts. Winning the first match is important and I think we have taken a big step towards attaining the top spot.”