Jamie blames league structure

Sports Correspondent

31 March, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Bangladesh scored only a goal in their three matches of the recently-concluded Three Nations Cup in Nepal. National booters got their lone goal in the final against hosts where they conceded a 1- 2 goals defeat.

It once again uncovered their inabilities of scoring goals at any international stage. Head coach Jamie Day blames the domestic league structure to cover up the national team’s inabilities of scoring goals on the international stage.

“The problem is never gonna change. I’ve said it so many times. Unless we change league structure and unless we get our local players to play in the right positions, we can't blame players because they don't play in full position. They don’t know where to run, they don’t know how to play as a center forward because they never played that,” Jamie told reporters on Tuesday.

“Scoring goals is always an issue. The coach and the coaching staff can keep working with the players, can keep telling and coaching them where to run. Unfortunately, you can’t get the experience of playing in that position on a regular basis. I trained players a few days before the international window. So, I can't change them from a winger to center forward or from a right back to center forward within that time,” he added. 

Bangladesh could end their 26-year trophy drought at an away tournament if they bag the title at Dasharath Rangasala in Kathmandu on Monday, but the hosts didn’t give them any chance. Nepal put full pressure on Bangladesh's defense from the very beginning of the day’s final. Bangladesh got the first blow in the 18th while Nepalese midfielder Sanjog Rai sent the ball home with a left-footed grounder from inside the box while midfielder Bishal Rai extended their margin utilising a faulty defense of Bangladesh in the 42nd minute.

Despite having 1-2 goals behind, the men in red and green made no attempts to reduce the gap before the 80th minute of the game. Substitute forward Mahbubur Rahman Sufil scored the lone goal with a header, off a corner from captain Jamal Bhuyan in the 83rd minute.

Nepal produced at least seven close chances of scoring goals while Bangladesh only two. About the day’s match, Jamie said that he was pleased with Bangladesh's performances in the second half.

“First we didn't play well too slow in possession and few players froze. We could have played better in the first half but I'm pleased with the second half. I think, a little bit in the first half, a few players didn't get in the game and maybe looked nervous and made mistakes. It was a new experience for them to play in the final. Again if they don’t play enough position for their club teams, then the problem is not going away,” he added.

“Yesterday we defended pretty well, the shape was pretty good. In three games, we kept two clean sheets, which again defensively we would have been very good in the last 2 or 3 years. We know we need to score more goals; we just spoke about the issue. For us, new players get some game time, we know now the players are good enough to play international games after this experience. So, overall I'm pleased with three games, disappointed with the first half of yesterday. We didn’t play well enough or quick enough,” he further added.

Jamie further argued in favuor saying his aim was not to win the trophy; his target was to give new players chances to get international experience ahead of the joint qualifiers for FIFA and AFC in June in Qatar.

“Obviously we want to win the final. Unlucky we didn’t win it. I’m looking forward to the June game because there are really few good games. I think we lost all the advantages of playing in Qatar. If we would have been in Bangladesh, we would have a lot of chances to get some points. But I’m not negative about it, we will do our best,” he concluded.