Booters bag maiden win under Cabrera
A more than pleasant wind is blowing in Bangladesh football as the Bangladesh national men's team edged past Cambodia in a FIFA-sanctioned friendly at the Morodok Techno National Stadium in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh yesterday.
A solitary goal from midfielder Rakib Hossain was good enough to ensure a hard-fought 1-0 victory for the men in red and green.
Prior to the game, even though Bangladesh had won three times and drew once in four meetings against 18-rank higher Cambodia, Bangladesh's recent form at the international circuit was a serious cause for concern since the last time victory came as far back as November last year against Maldives.
And the result means that apart from extending their unbeaten streak against Cambodia, Jamal Bhuiyan and Co have achieved their maiden victory under their Spanish coach Javier Cabrera after seven outings.
In the game, it was Bangladesh goalkeeper Anisur Rahman Zico who held the fortress for his side before Bangladesh took the lead. Zico first saved a free-kick hit from a dangerous spot in the 11th minute before pulling off a flying save eight minutes later. In between Zico's saves, Bangladesh captain Jamal missed a glorious chance to draw the first blood.
Bangladesh, however, soon found the occasion to celebrate in the 23rd minute as forward Matin Mia beat two Cambodian defenders with a darting run and found Rakib to drive home with an angular shot from outside the box.
Cambodia replied with full force in trying to get the equaliser before the break but the home side failed to capitalise after three good attempts.
Following the interval, Matin came close to widening the margin in the 74th as his shot from outside the box went to hit the crossbar. Cambodian attacks in the second-half were neutralised as Bangladesh resorted to keeping their shape intact.