Bangladesh Under-23 National Football Team, the Youth Tigers, began their first match of the Bangabandhu Gold Cup-2016 with a 1-1 draw against Bahrain Youths in Group-B on Sunday at the Shams-Ul-Huda Stadium in Jessore.
It was the first ever match for the Bangladesh Olympic Team in any edition of the Bangabandhu Gold Cup. Their Head Coach Gonzalo Sanchez Moreno was considering this tournament as an opportunity to get the boys prepared for the upcoming SA Games scheduled for February this year.
Also it was the first match of the youths under Spanish coach Gonzalo.
Both national team and youth teams of the country are taking part in the international event at home and the local supporters were expecting a better performance from the youths as well.
Miscommunication among the team members and lacking of skills was noticeable indeed. Yet, Fans were expecting more combined attacks, team understanding and basic sense of ball delivery timing from the youths on the field.
On the other hand, Bengal players were looking like 'Lilliputians' in against to Bahraini tall defenders. Their midfileder Abdulaziz Alshaikh, defender Ahmed Nabieel, defender Abdul Rahman Abdulla and defender Ablaziz Shellal formed strong defence line, obviously a tall one, and Bengal strikers had to try hard to deal with them.
In the match, Midfielder Rubel Miah was shown a yellow card by the referee Banerjee Pranijal for intentional handball near the post in the eight minute.
Striker Aminur Rahman Sajib headed back a thru of defender Shakil Ahmed to Rubel when he touched the ball instead of converting the ball into the post.
Bangladesh went ahead with a tremendous effort of midfielder AS Yousuf Sifat in the 19th minute.
Receiving a pass from striker Rubel, Sifat came near the post and dodged past Bahrain custodian Mahboob Aldoseri before firing the unguarded post.
Bahrain boys scored the leveller in the 23rd minute just four minute after Bangladesh's goal.
A lower cross was bounded from Bangladesh defender Rezaul's leg and founding the ball, Bahrain Midfielder Jasim Alshaikh immediately sent it to home to level the margin.
Taking the advantages of misunderstanding between Bangladesh defender Kesto Kumar and midfielder Omar Faruk Babu near the penalty area, Bahrain boys created another chance to score but Bengal defenders were able to defend the post timely.
Arup Kumar Baidya, a defender of the Red and Greens, overlapped his position to the upper flank and tried to enter the box from the right side but the ball was cleared by Bahrain defender Ablaziz Shellal.
The Bengal youths were near to score in the 44th minute when Sajib alone carried the ball near the box and chipped to Rubel after being blocked by a defender and Rubel headed the ball towards the post yet it was gripped by the Bahrain custodian in the air.
After the breather, Bengal boys could take the second lead in the 51st minute.
Receiving a low pass of Fahad, Sajib entered the box and found the custodian in one-to-one position when all he needed was to chip the ball but could not utilised the opportunity.
In the 85th minute, defender Rezaul Karim blocked a freekick with double header. He tried to clear the freekick with the first header and again head on it to send it to the midfield.
Bahrain substitute striker Anwar Ali was shown a direct red card for roughly fouling Nahidul Islam Nahid in the 90th minute.
None of the opponents were able to score the match winning goal in the injury time and had to stay happy with one point each.
Bangladesh midfielder Rubel Miya was adjudged the man of the match.
Bangladesh Youths will face the Maldives rivals in their second match on January 13 at 6:30 pm while Bahrain will play their second match against Cambodia in the same day 3:00 pm at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka.