Bangladesh U-23 team conceded a 1-3 defeat against two-time finalists North Korea U-23, to exit the 18th Asian Games Men’s Football competition at the pre-quarterfinal stage at the Wibawa Mukti Stadium in Cikarang, Indonesia on Friday.
Kim Yu-Song put North Korea, quarterfinalists of 1966 FIFA World Cup, ahead in the 13th minute while Han Yong Thae doubled the margin in the 38th minute to dominate the first half 2-0 over lowly Bangladesh (FIFA World ranked 194).
Kang Kuk-Chol further sounded the North Korea (FIFA World ranked 108) margin scoring one more goal in the 69th minute to signal the gulf in class and footballing heritage between the two sides.
Bangladesh’s promising teenage striker Saad Uddin of Dhaka Abahani scored a creditable goal over their much superior rivals North Korea in stoppage time (91st minute) of the match, meaning his side could take something out of this game as well, to end a campaign that offered much already.
In the other Round of 16 games on Friday, Japan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) booked themselves for the quarter-finals of the Asiad Men’s Football eliminating their rivals at different Indonesian venues on Friday.
Japan beat Malaysia 1-0, Saudi Arabia defeated China 4-3 while United Arab Emirates (UAE) beat hosts Indonesia 3-2 in tie breaker after a 2-2 draw in the stipulated period.
Earlier, Bangladesh team made their first-ever berth in the knock-out phase (round of 16) of the Asian Games Men’s Football adding a glorious chapter to the country’s soccer eliminating top ranking Qatar, the hosts of the FIFA World Cup 2022, by 1-0 goal in last B Group match at Patriot Chandrabhaga Stadium in Bekasi, Jakarta last Sunday.
With the surprising victory over Qatar, Bangladesh finished Group B runners-up to qualify for the round of 16 (2nd round) securing four points from three matches while former champions Uzbekistan clinched the Group B crown with all-win record to qualify for the 2nd round, collecting full nine points from three matches at the coffin of Qatar.
This was the first victory for Bangladesh against any Arabian country in the Asian Games Football including Qatar after suffering 3rd defeats against them earlier.
Earlier in their Asian Games history, Bangladesh won only three matches beating Malaysia 2-1 in 1982, beat Nepal 1-0 in 1986 and defeated Afghanistan 1-0 in the last Incheon Asian Games in 2014, but never qualified for the round of 16 knock-out phase of the meet.