‘Such defeat is not acceptable’ | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 09, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:22 AM, June 09, 2021

‘Such defeat is not acceptable’

Neighbouring India may have comprehensively edged over Bangladesh football team in terms of the result but their outstanding ball possession display against the men in red and green in their reverse fixture of the World Cup and Asian Cup Qualifiers in Qatar on Monday remains unprecedented. 

Historically, India had capitalised with genuine strikers against Bangladesh and the 27th encounter between the two sides in Doha was no exception, with veteran striker Sunil Chhetri once again taking the match in favour of India by scoring a brace.

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Apart from their 74 percent of ball possession against Bangladesh's 26, India's latest dominant display was superior in terms of passing accuracy as well, where they hit 83 percent compared to Bangladesh's 54.

"I've also played against India and watched a lot of games but never saw a one-sided affair of this manner. You can go down 5-0 with a fight but such defeat is not acceptable. I can't get over it," national team manager Iqbal Hossain told The Daily Star over phone from Qatar yesterday.

"I talked to the players last night [Monday] and today [Tuesday] but they can't justify such a poor display, despite putting up a better show against Afghanistan," said former national midfielder Iqbal.

"Players had no pressure from the management to win, but I think they had put pressure on themselves by being too serious about the India match and tried to play better than the Afghanistan match."

Finland-born defender Tariq Raihan Kazi stated that they failed to play their own game and conceded two goals due the lack of concentration in the last moments.

After a resurgent display against Afghanistan, Bangladesh was expected to carry the momentum to the India match and they did get off to a fine start within the first 10 minutes before handing over the upper hand to India for the remaining time.

"The first 10 minutes went well but I think we could have done better had we pressed them some 10 to 15 meters up instead of defending deeper. I think we lacked fresh legs against India," explained captain Jamal Bhuiyan.

Asked if they were under pressure to win the match, Jamal said, "We wanted to win this prestigious match which is equivalent to El Clasico of South Asia but we made plenty of errors and could not create many chances against India compared to Afghanistan match. We must improve our ball possession, and have to do better in pressing the opponents in future."

Manager Iqbal believes India have not played that extraordinary rather they kept the ball in their control.

"I admit, India did well in set-pieces and created a couple of good chances but the first goal Bangladesh conceded was unacceptable. There were three defenders inside the box and Tapu should've marked Sunil well while goalkeeper Anisur Rahman Zico should've come out from his line or made a call for the defenders when the ball was drifting into the six-yard box but none of the players did their job. I have nothing to say about the second goal," Iqbal expressed his frustration.

Finally Jamal urges all to forget the match against India for now and look forward to the match against Oman for a better show.

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