Although Bangladesh ended their AFC U-16 Women's Championship Qualifiers-2 campaign with a 0-3 defeat against China in their final Group B encounter at Mandalar Thiri Stadium, the girls in red and green can be proud of their overall performance and qualifying for the final round of the competition for the second successive time.
China qualified for the 2019 finals as Group B champions with an all win record while Bangladesh, with two wins in three outings, joined as runners-up. Two more teams from Group A will join the four automatic qualifiers -- North Korea, South Korea, Japan and hosts Thailand -- in the eight-team final round to be held in September.
Both teams came into the match having confirmed their place in the finals but Bangladesh needed an outright win to topple China as group champions. At first, Golam Rabbani Choton's charges played defensively before eventually going on strike but China proved too adept for Bangladesh, who did however beat different provincial teams of China during their preparations for the 2017 edition's final round.
Bangladesh's backline cleared away all the initial attempts from China's forwards rather than build-up play from behind, which resulted in China claiming superior ball possession throughout the match.
In the first half, China used the wings well as Shao Zioin ran down the right flank to cut one back for Dia Xinyao, who tapped it home in front of an open net in the 29th minute with centre-back Akhi Khatun looking too slow to stop Dia inside the box.
China could have doubled the lead a few minutes later but goalkeeper Rupna Chakma denied Wang Kinling brilliantly.
In the second half China changed their strategy, launching attacks directly to find the back of Bangladesh's net twice within eight minutes after resumption, dashing any hopes for a comeback.
Goalkeeper Rupna seemed to hesitate over whether to grip or punch the trough-pass inside the box, leading to Shao's second goal in the 46th minute before Wang Kingling coolly sealed victory by scoring from a one-on-one situation in the 53rd minute.
Bangladesh then tried some build-up play but were still outclassed by their superior opponents.
“The girls tried to play according to the game plan and tried their best but we conceded the second goal due to a mistake of goalkeeper Rupna,” said coach Choton after the match.