I cannot explain my feeling. I am really very excited. Scoring my first hattrick in international football is a big achievement for me. I will try to score another hattrick in the next game.
Nihat Jaman Uchhash
Bangladesh U-15 striker
The Bangladesh under-15 boys' football team brought back memories of the 80s with a 9-0 thrashing of Maldives in their first match of the SAFF U-15 Football Championship in Kathmandu yesterday, and thereby earned themselves a spot in the semifinals.
Anwar Parvez's charges toyed with their Maldivian counterparts, scoring four goals in the first half before adding five more in a complete performance reminiscent of the lop-sided affairs that used to take place between the senior sides of these two nations in the past century.
Striker Nihat Jaman Uchhash scored four goals while fellow striker Rasel Ahmed scored twice. Substitute midfielder Ashikur Rahman added two while skipper Mehedi Hasan scored one goal in the one-way traffic at the ANFA Complex ground.
Bangladesh senior team's biggest margin of victory came against Maldives in an 8-0 win in 1985, but since then the island nation's football has only gotten stronger while Bangladesh's has weakened to the point that the men in red and green lost all their three meetings against the Maldivians in this decade, the biggest one -- a 5-0 defeat -- coming in the most recent meeting in 2016.
But Bangladesh are still a force to be reckoned with in age-group football in the South Asian region and that was all too evident in their superior display yesterday. The boys in red and green, visibly far taller and stronger and seemingly much more technically adept, had their South Asian rivals under the pump right from the word go.
Uchhash was especially severe on the Maldivians as he completed his hattrick within 23 minutes, his first one came in the 11th through a simple tap-in after Rasel had teed him up in front of goal. The second one though, coming nine minutes later, was a brilliant solo effort as the youngster dribbled past three defenders before letting loose a powerful left-footer which beat the opposition goalie after taking a slight deflection off a Maldives defender. Uchhash completed his hattrick three minutes later, pouncing on a defensive mistake from the opposition. Skipper Mehedi added a fourth in stoppage time of the first half with a left-footed shot from 30 yards.
Bangladesh, the champions of the 2015 edition, were on par by now with Nepal, who had beaten Maldives 4-0 in the opening match of Group A of the championship on Thursday. And the boys in red and green increased their goal-difference one minute after the restart, with Uchhash bagging his fourth before Rasel got his first a minute later. Rasel scored again in the 66th minute as the Maldivians failed to pose any resistance before Ashikur, coming on as a substitute for Uchhash, scored in the 80th minute and four minutes into added-on time to wrap up the biggest victory in under-15 boys' football history for Bangladesh.
Bangladesh will face Nepal in the last group game on Monday to decide the group champions, and going by yesterday's performance, they should be absolute favourites against a side they defeated twice in semifinals of this championship in previous years.