Hosts fall to Singapore too
Bangladesh's disastrous campaign in the Robi Asian Games Hockey Qualifiers took one more tumble as they went down to Singapore 0-1 in their clash at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium yesterday. A sixteenth minute penalty corner converted by Johnson Sivalingam, arguably the best player of the match, was enough to bring down a very ordinary Bangladesh team.
Singapore earned a total of five penalty corners and it was the second one that earned them the all-important goal. Sabir Yuhari, instead of firing it at goal, pushed it towards the far corner where Farhan Kamsani made a run before putting it in with a diving stick.
They might have scored more goals from penalty corners, but for some very good saves the scoreline remained 1-0.
Bangladesh too earned a quartet of penalty corners against Singapore's five, but failed to make use of any. Mamunur Rahman Chayan, who missed a couple of penalty corners in the previous games after converting seven in the first two matches, took two -- fired one wide and the other went straight at the keeper. Bangladesh tried some variations with the two other penalty corners, one was a miscued shot from Asaduzzaman Chandan while the other from Jimmy was brilliantly saved by the Singapore keeper.
Apart from the penalty corners, the two teams created very little from open play, but Singapore always had their dominance over the hosts. However, Bangladesh had a wonderful chance to equalise when a goal-bound shot from Maksudul Alam Habul was bewilderingly diverted out by the stick of Krishna Kumar. Singapore players guarded their defence line pretty well and apart from that one incident never looked like in trouble with a goal lead.
In the first match of the day, Sri Lanka scored a hard-fought 4-3 victory over Thailand. Sri Lanka have played some high-scoring matches throughout the tournament and it was another of those which ended in their favour.
It was a topsy-turvy encounter that started with Sri Lanka taking the lead in the 22nd minute but falling behind twice to equalise. The final blow was executed on the last-minute of the game that ensured that Sri Lanka got their first win of the campaign. Mulafer Mohammed of Sri Lanka scored twice and was adjudged man-of-the-match.
However, the shock result of the day came late when Oman routed favourites Chinese Taipei 5-1 to take lead in the points table. Samir and Khalid scored twice and Hashim scored the other for Oman while Yang An scored the consolation goal for Taipei.
With one round of matches still left apart from Taipei who have played all six of their games, Oman lead the table with 11 points followed by Singapore on 10 and Taipei on 9. Bangladesh are in joint fifth position along with Sri Lanka with five points from five matches.
Bangladesh will play against Oman in the last match of the qualifiers today which starts at 3 pm.