Shaky end to preparations
Bangladesh finished their preparations for the SAFF Championships on a subdued note as interim coach Shahidur Rahman Shantoo's charges slumped to a 3-1 defeat to the visiting Ulsan Hyundai at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.
The home side was played off the park by the visiting South Korean's, whose speed and skill was far too much for the Bangladesh team.
The visitors dominated from the off and after squandering few good chances Kim Seong Min found the target with a fierce right-footer. Lee Jin Ho then produced a wonderful back volley to double the margin. Bangladesh striker Zahid Hasan Emily pulled one back in the first half but Kim Seong Min scored his second goal in the second half to make sure that they left the hosts with much to ponder.
The result was however immaterial for Bangladesh coach, rather he was happy with the way his boys played against a professional side.
"The boys played according my plan with 3-5-2 format against an Asian professional side and that's why I am happy. The squad took shape gradually playing the warm-up matches and we hope we will be able to field a right combination," said Shantoo.
The national booters lost their first warm-up against Sheikh Russel KC and won the second game against a BFF XI and Shantoo had a target on rectifying the mistakes of the first two preparation games through the match against Hyundai, a two-time champions of the K. League.
"I think the boys improved a lot and they rectified the mistakes they made in the first two games," Shantoo, who was assigned to guide the national squad following the termination of Brazilian coach Edson Silva Dido's contract over his youthful selection.
Hyundai coach Lee Sang Chul was also impressed by the Bangladesh teams performance in the match.
"They looked good and played good football but you know we recently played against Maldives and I must say they are a much better side," said Lee Sang Chul.
Bangladesh have been drafted in Group B along with Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bhutan and they launch the SAFF Championship campaign against Bhutan on December 4. The group A comprises of Maldives, India, Afghanistan and Nepal.