Chandrashiri looks back
Bangladesh, more specifically Abahani, was the second home for Sri Lankan booters in the 90s when players like Prem Lal, Packeer Ali, Lionel Peiris, Asoka Tennekoon and Damodaran Chandrasiri were popular figures in Bangladesh football scene.
After hanging up their boots, some of them have remained in touch with football and Chandrasiri is one of them who is accompanying the Sri Lanka national team in the SAFF Championship as assistant coach. The
former Abahani goalkeeper Chandrasiri recalled his memories of playing
days in Bangladesh from
1985 to 1987.
“It was a unique experience for me playing in front of huge crowds. I still remember vividly the match against Brothers Union which ended in a 3-3 draw and when everyone blamed me for the draw,” said Chandrasiri at his room at the Hotel Hilton yesterday.
The 52-year old admitted he was guilty of conceding the first goal as he failed to judge he flight of the ball but he was not responsible for the last two goals as the opponents capitalised on the fumbles from the defenders.
Chandrasiri, who represented the Sri Lanka national team from 1978 and 1993, was picked from the Aga Khan Gold Cup in 1984 by Abahani's Tanvir Mazhar Tanna, even though he did not take part in the league due to his previous club engagement in Sri Lanka. The goalkeeper joined Abahani the following year.
The Sri Lankan also recalled that he was again blamed for conceding a goal against archriavals Mohammedan when Rummon Bin Sabbir scored the match's lone goal with his shin but his coach Kazi Salahuddin consoled by saying that he was not responsible for conceding the goal.
Chandrasiri declined to say anything about Bangladesh's football but he said that Sri Lankan football is getting better day by day even though there is not assistance from the Sri Lankan government.
The AFC A-license coach said Monilal Fernando is doing everything to take Sri Lanka's football forward.
Sri Lanka made a winning start in the SAFF Championship this year with a 3-0 win over Bhutan on Saturday and they are serious contenders for the semifinals.