Saad Uddin, who came on as a substitute, scored with his very first touch to help Bangladesh rescue a 1-1 draw against Maldives in their away match in the preliminary round of World Cup Qualifiers today at Male National Stadium. The match took place in Maldives.
Saad, who came off the bench to replace Bishwanath Ghosh in the 89th minute, scored the game-tying goal for the men in red and green in the second minute of stoppage time. Rakib Hossain provided the low pass that led to Saad’s goal. As soon as the equalising goal was scored, the full was booked for celebrating by removing his shirt in front of the rest of the squad, which included the players and officials who were in the bench.
In the second match, which will take place on October 17 at the Bashundhara Kings Arena and pit Bangladesh against Maldives, the aggregate winners of these two matches will advance to the group stage of the qualifying tournament. In the event that the game is tied, the winners will be determined by using tiebreakers.
“It gives me a great deal of satisfaction to know that Maldives are a very powerful team in their own backyard. Every time we arrived to this location, they performed well and had a strong attacking line-up. Today, they were given a lot of chances, and we also gave them a lot of chances. Both teams played solid football throughout the match, which resulted in a tie score. Rakib Hossain, a forward on the team, stated at the press conference that took place after the match that “at least we drew the match,” which is why the team is feeling pleased as all of its players, including the three new players, played well.
Both teams had numerous opportunities to score goals, but it wasn’t until the 78th minute that Maldives took the lead after capitalising on a miscued clearing by their opponent’s defender, Tariq Kazi. Maldives, on the other hand, who had defeated Bangladesh three times in the last seven years on their home territory, were denied by Javier Cabrera’s charges in the final moments of stoppage time.
Approximately the first 20 minutes consisted of cautious play from both teams, with Maldives appearing to be the more agile team on the break and in transition. Ali Fasir’s near-post shot during a counterattack in the 18th minute came close to giving Pakistan the lead, but Bangladesh managed to hold on to their lead.
After that, Bangladesh created a couple of nice chances despite poor passing and losing possession of the ball, but neither Rakib nor Faisal Ahmed Fahim were able to hit the back of the net with their shots.
After the halftime break, Rakib led a counterattack that came dangerously near to hitting the far post. He then set up Fahim inside the penalty area, but the youthful winger’s close-range shot hit the side netting instead.
Once again, Fahim missed the target, and Maldives’ custodian was able to save substitute Rabiul Islam’s attempt at scoring. Bangladesh’s Shakil Ahmed, making his debut at left back, saved the day for his team by blocking an open shot. Fasir was then presented with a one-on-one opportunity, but rookie custodian Mitul Marma turned it away.
Hassan Nazeem, a substitute for Bangladesh, gave Pakistan the lead with a tap-in from close range after Tariq’s clearing came his way off the body of Shakil. Prior to that point, it appeared as though the game was going to end in a scoreless draw. Then, in the 89th minute, Fasir squandered yet another golden opportunity when he needed to overcome the Bangladesh custodian just.
Even though some of Bangladesh’s most important players were absent due to disciplinary issues, coach Jaiver Cabrera was pleased with the team’s overall performance.
We have to win the match at home, and if we do that, everything else will be the same. If we were to lose or draw this match, we absolutely needed to win the one we played at home. According to Cabrera, “even if we won the match today, we would have definitely gone to the home match for the win.”