Bangladesh through after goalless draw
For those of you who are frustrated waiting for the rain to relent at Bristol, and bored watching old match highlights on TV or reading silly comments on cricket websites, there is, we're afraid, not much good news yet, as per the live report from our correspondent Sakeb Subhan, at the moment.
For the time you wait for the match to start, here is something you can indulge yourself in. It is not cricket, certainly not World Cup. But it is no less significant for Bangladesh, and Bangladesh football in particular. It is the second leg of the first round of the joint qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup and the 2023 Asian Cup.
This is probably the most significant match for Bangladesh football team in years, detailed and analysed in this article in late March.
The football team had found itself in a precarious situation going into the pre-qualifiers. However, they have won the first leg against Laos away from home -- the only team among the six fixtures to have done so (all the other five matches have ended in wins for the home teams).
However, the job is only half done. The Bangladesh team is well aware of the threat they would face from Laos in Dhaka today. But Jamie Day, the Bangladesh coach, has his own plans too. Here is what the Bangladesh coach and the team are prepared for today.
The match will start at the Bangabandhu National Stadium at 7:00pm, and thankfully there is no threat of rain in Dhaka today (not that it would matter unless it comes absolutely bucketing down with thunderstorms).
You can watch the match on this link: https://mycujoo.tv/video/bangladesh-football-federation?id=45882
Meanwhile, we will keep you upto date with any updates from the BNS, and of course, from Bristol.
6:30pm Bangladesh team made two changes from the first leg in Laos, with that match's goalscorer Rabiul Hasan rewarded with a starting call, replacing Arifur Rahman. Former captain Mamunul Islam, meanwhile, replaces Matin Mia as they look solidify at the midfield.
Ashraful Islam Rana (GK), Bishwanath Ghosh, Tutul Hossain Badshah, Yeasin Khan, Rahmt Mia, Mashuk Mia Johnny, Jamal Bhuiyan (C), Biplo Ahmed, Mamunul Islam, Rabiul Hasan, Nabib Newaz Jibon
Good to see a few thousand fans turn up at the BNS to cheer on the Bangladesh team, and hopefully make it hard for visiting Laos, as pleaded by Bangladesh coach Jamie Day.
We are minutes away from the kick-off.
The cricket match in Bristol has been called off, as Bangladesh and Sri Lanka shared a point each. However, here at the BNS it's all still to play for as Bangladesh ended the first half goalless against Laos.
Remind you, a draw would be enough for Bangladesh to be through while a goal for Laos in normal time would take the tie to extra time. A bigger margin win for Laos would see the visitors through.
Bangladesh did have a couple chances to take things into their own hands. Nabib Newaz Jibon, the Abahani centre-forward, was found wanting on both occasions.
Overall, it wasn't a very entertaining first half, understandable given the enormity of the occasion and the nerves. However. we hope the second half lives up to the pre-match excitement.
Bangladesh got the second half underway, with Mohammad Ibrahim replacing Biplo Ahmed.
Jibon wastes another gilt-edged opportunity as the scoreline remains 0-0. This time it was served to him on a platter by substitute Ibrahim. But the Abahani striker headed woefully wide, with the goalkeeper to beat.
Forward Mahbubur Rahman Sufil replaces midfielder Mashuk Mia Johnny. This should add some speed for Bangladesh as coach Jamie Day looks to take advantage of Laos's weary legs.
And it's all over at the BNS. Bangladesh 0-0 Laos, which means Bangladesh are through to the group stages of the qualifying campiagn for the 2022 World Cup and the 2023 Asian Cup. This ensures a host of matches for the men in red and green against some of the stronger teams of Asia.
Good day for Bangladesh football, although the performance on the pitch wasn't all that praiseworthy. However, as Jamie Day said after the first leg, "Sometimes it's good to win and not play well."