Under-23s taste maiden win | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 27, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 27, 2019

Under-23s taste maiden win

The Bangladesh U-23 football team tasted their maiden win in the history of the AFC U-23 Championship Qualifiers when they handed a 2-0 defeat to Sri Lanka in their third and final group match at the Khalifa City Sports Stadium in Manama yesterday.

Bangladesh have all played all three previous editions since the introduction of AFC U-23 Championship in 2012, losing nine matches and only drawing once against India in the second edition in Dhaka in 2015.

The elusive triumph finally came in the fourth edition after Bangladesh showed tremendous character in their first two matches against hosts Bahrain and Palestine before falling to identical 1-0 defeats in both matches.

The result not only gave Bangladesh their first win, but also made the campaign a positive one as they finished third in their four-team group for the first time in the competition.

The fighting attitude from Jamie Day's charges in the past matches had seemingly given them hope of ending their winless run and the men in red and green proved that with a fifth-minute strike against Sri Lanka, whose senior side beat their Bangladeshi counterparts 1-0 in a friendly match in Nilphamari last year.

Midfielder Biplu Ahmed broke the deadlock with a placed shot from the edge of the six-yard box before defender Tutul Hossain Badsha scored the second in the 18th minute after side-volleying home from a goal-mouth melee following Raibul Hasan's long throw-in.

Bangladesh maintained their dominance from start to finish to ensure that the expatriate spectators who provided huge support from the gallery would not be not disappointed.

"The boys played well today. I am pleased because they managed to score two goals which is a positive thing to take from this championship," said Day.

Having praised Bangladesh's performance in the qualifiers, Day's counterpart Packeer Ali said: "The performance of Bangladesh was good today. They suffered 1-0 [losses] to Bahrain and Palestine in the first two matches but they had opportunities to win or draw those matches."

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