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Bangladesh clinch first win under Cabrera

  • Sports Correspondent
  • 23 September, 2022 12:00 AM
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Bangladesh clinch first win under Cabrera
Midfielder Rakib Hossain celebrates a goal during Bangladesh’s FIFA International Friendly match against Cambodia at Morodok Techo National Stadium in Phnom Penh on Thursday. —BFF PHOTO

Bangladesh national football team registered their maiden win under Spanish coach Javier Cabrera when they beat Cambodia by a 1-0 margin in a FIFA International Friendly match at Morodok Techo National Stadium in Phnom Penh on Thursday.

 Midfielder Rakib Hossain scored the winning goal off a pass from forward Matin Miah in the 23rd minute of the game which was enough to seal the fate of the game.

 This was also Bangladesh’s first win in 2022 as in the previous six matches (all under the new coach as he was appointed in January), they played two goalless draws against Mongolia and Indonesia respectively while they had to concede defeats in the remaining four matches.

Bangladesh lost to Maldives by a 2-0 margin in a FIFA Friendly while they lost to Bahrain 0-2, Turkmenistan 1-2 and Malaysia 1-4 in the AFC Asian Cup 2023 Qualifiers in June.

With this win, the 192nd-ranked side, however, maintained their unbeaten record against Cambodia. In the previous four meetings, Bangladesh won three matches while one match ended in a draw.

Bangladesh beat Cambodia 2-1 in the AFC Challenge Cup in 2006 before they played a 1-1 draw during the Nehru Cup in India in 2007.  Bangladesh won the two friendly matches against Cambodia with an identical 1-0 margin in 2009 and 2019 respectively.

Before the game, the men in red and green had a three-week training camp at home while they also completed a week-long preparation camp in Phnom Penh.

On Thursday, Bangladesh got an early chance in the 14th minute against the 174th-ranked side but skipper Jamal Bhuyan failed to shoot the ball on target from the d-box off a long throw-in from Bishwanath Ghosh.

In the 19th minute, goalkeeper Anisur Rahman Zico made a brilliant save to keep the Bangladesh post intact before Bangladesh opened the account four minutes later.

Matin started his run from Bangladesh half before delivering the pass to Rakib close to the d-box and the midfielder kept his calm to beat the Cambodian goalkeeper with a right-footed blazing kick.

Rakib then celebrated the goal like Portugal superstar Cristiano Ronaldo does after he scored any goal either in club football or international matches in recent times.

Bangladesh, who finished the first half 1-0, played defensive football in the second half but they could have gone 2-0 up in the 74th minute if not Matin’s shot hit the crossbar.

Zico also denied two to three close chances attempted by Cambodian forwards afterwards.

Substitute forward Mohammad Ibrahim couldn’t shoot the ball on target from a good position in the injury time of the second half as Bangladesh had to content with a solitary margin win. 

Bangladesh will now travel to Nepal to play another FIFA International Friendly match, scheduled to be held on September 27 in Kathmandu.