During the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Tournament in Sri Lanka, two years ago, Faisal Ahmed Fahim made his first appearance for his country in an international match against Maldives after coming off the bench. Yesterday, the young forward scored his first goal for his country against the same team that they had just played, and that goal ended up being the one that sealed Bangladesh’s qualification for the World Cup Qualifiers.
Although it took Fahim 15 matches to register his name on the scoresheet, he had previously scored several goals for the national teams of various age groups. Last week, Bangladesh and Maldives fought to a 1-1 draw in an away match in Male. The young player received significant backlash for missing a handful of opportunities to score during the match, which led to the criticism.
In addition to Rakib Hossain, the spotlight was on Fahim during the home match on Tuesday, and the 22-year-old forward delivered a spirited performance in response to the attention. The young man from Sirajganj was responsible for an outstanding cut-back that Rakib used to give his team the lead in the 11th minute. However, his errant header allowed Maldives to draw level in the 36th minute. After that, the youngster took matters into his own hands and scored the game-winning goal within the first minute of play after the break.
After passing up several scoring opportunities in the road encounter against Maldives, my confidence took a hit. However, my teammates, my coach, and the members of my family kept motivating me to look forward and be ready for the home match for goals,” Fahim told The Daily Star over the phone after arriving in Sirajganj yesterday evening following an overnight victory celebration at the team hotel. “The home match for goals” is scheduled to take place on Saturday.
“In general, I don’t pass up possibilities like these. I was under the impression that a pleasant surprise was in store for me. Rakib encouraged me by predicting that I would score a goal during the game we were about to play. I was also an inspiration to him. When I helped Rakib score the opening goal, it gave me a boost of self-assurance. According to the former Saif SC forward, who has started in four of the 15 matches he has played so far, everyone put in a lot of effort to ensure that they would win.
Fahim had started earlier this year in the games against Lebanon and Maldives that were part of the SAFF Championship. However, he squandered a handful of chances in those games, which led to Sheikh Morsalin taking over his starting spot. However, because Bashundhara Kings were required to suspend Morsalin, Fahim was given another opportunity to play in the starting eleven.
“After squandering the opportunities I had against Lebanon, I struggled with my confidence, but the coach continued to put his trust in me throughout the Asian Games and the games I played against Maldives. “Right now, my self-assurance is through the roof, and I am more determined than ever to secure my position,” stated Fahim.
“My strong point is running with the ball, but I have to do better in finishing and assisting other forwards,” according to Fahim. Because Rakib and I talk a lot before every match, we have a strong understanding of each other. I believe that Rakib and I could make a fantastic striking tandem in order to solve the problem that our team is having with scoring goals.
Fahim pleaded with fans to maintain their support for the group so that it would provide them with further inspiration to perform better in the future.