Bangladesh's journey begin with defeat in SAFF Championship

SAFF Championship 2023

Bangladesh faced a 2-0 defeat against Lebanon in Group B’s opening fixture of the SAFF Championship at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru of India on June 22.

Lebanon is ranked 99th in the FIFA rankings and there the position of Bangladesh is 192. Considering strength or statistics, Lebanon is far ahead in everything. Bangladesh was fighting evenly against that powerful Lebanon. Although the players were realizing that there is a gap between Bangladesh and Lebanon in the field game, Jamal’s team fought with them on an equal foot. Tapu, Tariq kept Lebanon well in the first half. As a result, the first half ended in a goalless draw. But at the beginning of the second half, Bangladesh is seen stronger and created a golden opportunity in the 60th minute of the match. This was the best chance of the entire match when Fahim got the goalkeeper alone after taking a long pass from Hridoy. But his first touch of the ball was a little too strong and went a bit out of control. Even if the shot is taken at the last minute, it hits the goalkeeper directly. The coaches and players in the dugout raised their hands in frustration at the loss of a great opportunity. In the 73rd minute, Bangladesh coach replaced Rakib Hasan with Fahim. But Bangladesh had to pay the price for that mistake and coincide last minute goal to lose 2-0.

Bangladesh fought hard till 80 minutes of the match. The strong Lebanon was not giving much of a chance to attack. But at the end of the day, Javier Cabrera’s grave disciples drowned in their own forgetfulness. Bangladesh started with disappointment in SAFF Championship. Hassan Matuk and Khalil Badr scored two winning goals for the Lebanon.

Lebanon attacked Bangladesh from the start of the match at Sri Kantirava Stadium in Bangalore. As a result, goalkeeper Anisur Rahman Zico has to spend a lot of time under pressure in the goal bar. Lebanon had 76 percent of the ball in the full 45 minutes and has two shots on goal. On the other hand, despite having less control of the ball, Bangladesh shook Lebanon’s defense by attacking. In the 23rd minute, Bangladesh captain Jamal Bhuyan took a shot that bit the ground along the net from a distance. But it was easily palmed by the Lebanese goalkeeper. Lebanon got a great opportunity in the 35th minute. But Zico jumped up to block Sadek’s shot. In the 43rd minute, Cabrera’s team attacked again. Faisal Ahmed Fahim entered the box from the right side. However, Bangladesh got a corner when his shot hit the leg of a Lebanese defender and went off the line. But they could not make use of the opportunity in the last minute of the first half.

Lebanon broke the deadlock in the 80th minute of the match. Bangladesh defender Tariq Kazi lost control of the ball while making a cutback in the midfield. Darwich rushed towards the box with the ball at his feet. Matuk made no mistake in beating Zico from his pass. Desperate to get back to parity, they got a chance to attack at the last minute and also get two corners, but could not do the proper work. On the contrary, Lebanon doubled the lead by counter-attacking in the added time of the second half. Bangladesh will face Maldives in their second match on Sunday (June 25).