Bangladesh delivered the best performance among all the South Asian countries who all bowed out in the second round of World Cup pre-qualifiers.
The SAFF semi-finalists are the only nation in the region to post a win in the second round, though it came a little too late as they lost 4-2 on aggregate to Lebanon.
Seven out of the eight SAFF member countries participated in the World Cup pre-qualifiers with Bhutan the only nation in the region not to make an entry.
Of the seven SAFF members, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan were eliminated in the first round by Bangladesh, the Philippines and Palestine respectively.
India and Maldives on the other hand were handed a direct entry into the second pre-qualifying round because of their superior performance in the AFC Challenge Cup.
Bangladesh and Nepal defeated Pakistan and East Timor to qualify for the World Cup pre-qualifying second round, which featured some of Asia’s top teams including Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, China, Kuwait, UAE and Indonesia, who have all appeared in the World Cup finals in the past.
Bangladesh had a relatively easy draw, facing a war-torn Lebanon, who seldom get a chance to test their skills in the international arena.
But a catastrophic 4-0 away defeat effectively cost them a place in the main draw, contested by the top-20 Asian sides, despite an inspired performance in Dhaka on Wednesday.
The other South Asian sides also managed to salvage some pride in their home legs, although none of them could record victories.
India played out a 2-2 draw with the United Arab Emirates to go down 5-2 on aggregate while Maldives lost 1-0 to Iran to end their campaign with a 5-0 aggregate defeat.
The most surprising result came from Nepal, who lost the first leg to Jordan 9-0, but managed to eke out a 1-1 draw in the return leg in Kathmandu on Wednesday.
Bangladesh are the only team from the region to have scored more than they conceded – finding the net five times against the four goals they let in.
Nepal were involved in a couple of high scoring affairs, beating Timor 2-1 at home and 5-0 away before losing 10-1 on aggregate to Jordan in the second round.
Maldives and Pakistan failed to score a goal in the entire campaign.
-With New Age input