Having confirmed the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers berth last night, Bangladesh coach Jamie Day allowed his charges to celebrate the night to enjoy the moment they achieved following hard work in the last two weeks.
“It is a fantastic moment for Bangladesh to qualify for the World Cup Qualifying Group stage,” Day said at the post-match press conference after his team advanced into the main qualifiers with an aggregate 1-0 against Laos.
“I don’t want to blame anyone for squandering scoring chances. Tonight is for the boys to enjoy the moment as we just qualified for the World Cup group stage. Before the qualifiers, everyone was in doubt whether Bangladesh could cross the hurdle, but I wasn’t because I trained the boys in last one year and changed the training, changed their attitude. Every time we worked hard and I never thought of not qualifying for the next stage,” said the 39-year-old coach, further questioning the instance when Bangladesh remained unbeaten for three consecutive matches.
The English coach, however, felt that his team should have scored in the home match.
“We had four scoring chances but could not take those. The boys were a bit nervous but we encouraged them, they understood and kept cleansheet in the last two weeks. Performancewise, we focused on our goal and we achieved it,” said day, who felt striker Nabib Newaj Jibon should have scored from the chances he got.
Captain Jamal Bhuiyan, however, admitted that they could not perform well even though he is happy with qualifying for the group stage, a platform which ensures them of at least eight more international matches over the next one year.
“It was a good match even though we could not play well. But we got the result, which is very important because people want result,” said Jamal.
Explaining the reason behind the performance, Jamal said, “It is a different match and different tactic. Sometimes you play good football, sometimes you defend because you can’t play same style in every match. Today we did not allow Laos to attack us, so we played as per the game plan.”
“If we play tiki-taka football and get no result, what is the consequence of playing tiki-taka football?” said Jamal when asked about the disorgansied performance.
Laos coach Sundaram Moorthy said that they were unlucky not to get goals despite enjoying better ball possession in front of the Bangladesh fans.
“We dominated over the hosts but were unlucky not to score in the match and it was lack of composure and decisionmaking in the attacking third,” said Moorthy, who later said that they created half chances which his players could not cash in on.