The Bangladesh men’s national football team has struggled in the international arena for a long time due to the fact that they do not play enough matches against teams with higher world rankings.
However, since June of this year, Bangladesh has experienced a rare run of consistent matches against higher ranked teams, which cleared the path for them to reach their best position in the FIFA rankings in almost four years. This achievement was made possible because of Bangladesh’s recent success against teams with higher ranks.
On Thursday, Bangladesh improved their position in the FIFA rankings by six places, moving up to 183 overall. This is Bangladesh’s highest ranking since July 2019, when they were placed 182.
The surge in the rankings was both a direct result of their victory over the Maldives in their FIFA World Cup Qualifiers earlier this month and an indirect result of what they had been doing over the previous five or so months. The victory against the Maldives resulted in a 3-2 aggregate triumph for them.
Since the beginning of June, Bangladesh has competed in five matches, three of which were against the Maldives, two against Afghanistan, and one each against Lebanon and Kuwait.
Despite the fact that the matches that were a part of the SAFF Championship ended in defeat, Javier Cabrera’s men put up a gallant show against teams that were a long way ahead of them in the standings. Lebanon and Kuwait were both on the schedule.
Last month, Bangladesh played at home against Afghanistan, a team that is currently ranked 29 places higher than Bangladesh. Despite this, Bangladesh was able to get a number of draws against Afghanistan.
Even though Bangladesh didn’t win matches against teams like Lebanon, Kuwait, or Afghanistan, there was a lot to appreciate about the team’s performance. It appeared like the Cabrera’s charges were continually punching above their weight class.
Before the thrilling victory on aggregate that earned Bangladesh the ticket to the second round of the qualifiers, Bangladesh displayed their greatest performance against the more talented Maldives, which resulted in a 3-1 victory for Bangladesh in the SAFF.
The recent strong performances of the national team have made it possible for them to take on even more difficult competition.
They have been drawn in Group I of the FIFA World Cup Qualifier, where they will compete against teams like as Australia (ranked 27th), Palestine (placed 96th), and Lebanon (ranked 104th).
The second stage of the qualifiers will get underway on November 16, and the first match will be an away match versus Australia. The match will take place in Melbourne.
Up until June of the following year, Bangladesh will have the opportunity to compete in six matches against these three elite sides. This presents a fantastic opportunity for Bangladesh to put their skills to the test against stronger competition and grow as a collective entity.
Cabrera also has a young team at his disposal, which includes players like forward Sheikh Morsalin and winger Rabib Hossain. Goalkeeper Mitul Marma is also on Cabrera’s roster.
It is impossible for Bangladesh to have a positive outcome when competing against a team such as Australia, which advanced to the second round of the Qatar World Cup in 2017 by defeating Argentina, who went on to win the World Cup.
But it would be a fantastic outcome for Bangladesh if Cabrera’s players were able to produce a strong performance against a team that Bangladesh had lost to by scores of 5-0 and 4-0 in the qualifying rounds for the 2018 World Cup.
A successful performance against them would also provide them a lift before taking on Lebanon and Palestine. Against Cabrera’s men, they might even fancy their chances and make an even higher climb in the FIFA rankings if they have a solid showing against them.