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Bangladesh-Mongolia friendly match ends in goalless draw

Bangladesh failed to score against Mongolia despite creating several chances at Sylhet District Stadium as the FIFA friendly match ended up a goalless draw.

It was the second match for the Red and Greens under their new coach Javier Cabrera, but any Bangladesh footballer is yet to find the back of the net. In the first match under the Spanish coach, Bangladesh lost 2-0 against the Maldives on March 24.

Only two points separate both sides in the FIFA rankings as Mongolia are currently 184th while Bangladesh are situated at 186th. Naturally, top quality football was not expected. Lying at the bottom of the FIFA rankings, the two teams could be contenders for the wooden spoon, and they produced poor quality football throughout the 90 minutes at Sylhet.

Both teams have problems with their forwards, and that showed in their game. Bangladesh could take the lead early in the game when Rakib Hossain approached through the left flank and released the ball in front of the Mongolian post, but there was none to take a shot towards the goal.

After a few minutes, a similar kind of situation raised, and the Mongolian goalkeeper slipped the ball from his hand, but again, there was none to take a rebound shot.

There was a lack of coordination between Suman Reza, Rakib, and Mohammad Ibrahim in the attacking third and as a result, Bangladesh could penetrate the Mongolian defence but could not find the goal.

Suman possibly had the biggest chance to score a few minutes before half-time when he received a through ball from Sohel Rana, took control of the ball, and launched a powerful shot that hit the crossbar.

Another forward Ibrahim also lost a chance when he received a through ball from Yasin Arafat, broke the off-side trap, but could not keep his balance, and fell to the ground just ahead of the Mongolian goal.

After losing two golden chances before the break, coach Cabrera changed his tactics in the second half, swapped Rakib with Ibrahim, and sent Nabib Nawaz Jibon from the bench, but that could not affect the result of the match.

In the second half, skipper Jamal Bhuyan earned a great chance when he flicked the ball but hit the side net. He earned a few corner kicks as well, which could have created a chance for Bangladesh as they were not good enough with the open play, but none could find the back of the net during the 90 minutes against Mongolia.

Scoring has always been a problem area for Bangladesh as most of the local clubs depend heavily on foreign players in striking positions. That was visible during the final moments of the match as the Bangladesh players were giving back passes without taking goal attempts.

Raihan could have fetched a last-moment goal for Bangladesh in stoppage time when he connected a rebound from a corner, but it went above the bar and kept the home side goalless.

This was Bangladesh’s third straight match without a win since their victory against Maldives in the Mahinda Rajapaksa trophy in Sri Lanka in November. They lost to Sri Lanka and Maldives and ended in a goalless draw against Mongolia on Tuesday.

While Bangladesh players kept creating chances, Mongolia was playing defensive and counter attack-based football, and they hardly put Bangladesh goalkeeper Anisur Rahman Zico in trouble. He had a placid day under the bars as there was not a single shot on goal from Mongolia.

Cabrera, after his second match, told the media that the forwards have improved as they created chances, with better finishing the match could have been ended in Bangladesh’s favour.