Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Mamunul happy as greater humiliation avoided

Bangladesh coach and players took little offence in their 5-0 mauling to Australia in the World Cup qualifying match in Perth on Thursday as it could have been worse easily.
Bangladesh’s worst defeats in international matches are identical 9-0 losses to South Korea and Iran, respectively in 1979 and 1982, and the team believe they did a commendable job in preventing a similar result.
Captain Mamunul Islam said they were a bit disappointed after the match but took some comfort after coach Lodewijk de Kruif praised them for not conceding more than five goals against the reigning Asian champions.
‘We were a bit disappointed after the match but coach said he was happy with our performance,’ Mamunul told New Age over phone after the match.
‘Coach told us it was a good result for us because Australia are far ahead of us in every aspect.’
‘He [Kruif] was also happy to see we didn’t give up the game before the final whistle and we tried our best to defend against the mighty opponents with our limited strength,’ said the captain.
Mamunul claimed they were bit shaky in the first half-an-hour which resulted in four early goals for Australia.
‘Australia put immense pressure from the first minute of the match and before us coping up with the unusual situation they took a clear 4-0 lead,’ he said.
‘But if we didn’t concede early four goals the result could have looked decent, if not different.’
Mamunul did little to hide his excitement about playing on such a world-class surface of the Nib Perth Stadium against a quality opposition.
‘We hardly get a chance to play in such high-quality grounds,’ he said.
‘The whole condition was against us but I think we did our best to overcome the odds.’
The midfielder hoped the experience that they gained from Thursday’s match will help them to play better football against Jordan four days later at home.
Bangladesh’s assistant coach Saiful Bari Titu, who guided the team in the absence of suspended Kruif, however, claimed his charges were bit scared in the early part of the match that cost them.
‘We didn’t have enough experience of playing in such a fast ground, naturally it took the players some time to adapt to the condition’, said Titu.
‘No one is satisfied with a loss but this match will definitely help us to fight hard against Jordan at home.
‘Jordan are also a strong team but they are not like Australia,’ so we are confident of playing better against them.’
Bangladesh will play against Jordan at home on September 8.

-With New Age input

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