Bangladesh coach Jamie Day expressed disappointment after his charges surrendered a first-half lead during a 1-1 draw against India in their 2022 World Cup qualifier at the Salt Lake Stadium yesterday.
“We played exceptionally against India. The boys executed the plan well and created a couple of good chances in the second half after taking the lead in the first half. I’m also disappointed that we conceded the equaliser in the dying moments because we did enough to get three points.
“We did not expect to win against India in front of some 70,000 spectators. The atmosphere was fantastic and I’m really proud of the performance of the boys tonight,” said a gloomy Day at the post-match conference.
“We are 85 places  behind India and a draw in front of such a huge crowd is fantastic, but we are disappointed that we could not get the full three points,” said the 39-year-old coach.
Bangladesh were seemingly denied a penalty in the very first minute when Mohammad Ibrahim was tackled from behind by a defender inside the box, but Syrian referee Masoud Tufayelieh overlooked the incident.
“There must have been some reason [for not giving the penalty]. It is a hard job for the referee and I don’t want to comment on it because it won’t change the result of the match,” opined Day.
Jamie however admitted that his charges may have gotten tired in the face of the constant attacks from India in the last 10 to 15 minutes and that led them to concede the equaliser.
“I am disappointed to concede the equaliser from a set-piece and a good header with only seven minutes left. We also missed out on two goals in the second half with a goal being saved from the goalline and one striking the bar. We also made a goalline save. The result was fair enough at the end but we could have won the game had the boys gotten through the last seven minutes,” said Jamie.
India were on the verge of tasting defeat to Bangladesh for the first time in 16 years before Adil Khan rescued India by heading in an equaliser in the 88th minute. India’s Croatian coach Igor Stimac said that they deserved the victory over Bangladesh.
“It was an exciting match and the people who came to the stadium enjoyed the beauty of football. We deserved the victory because the boys pushed hard and got enough chances to win the match but finishing was not good enough. The lack of scoring ability is the reason we did not win the match.”
Stimac however congratulated Bangladesh team for putting up a fight.