A wasteful Bangladesh were held to a goalless draw by Bhutan in their Asian Cup Qualifiers play-off first-leg match at the Bangabandhu National Stadium on Tuesday.
The hosts could have easily won the game if their forwards did not waste a series of scoring chances. Bangladesh will now have to earn a result in the away-leg match in Thimpu on October 10 to qualify for the next round.
Forward Shakhwat Hossain Rony could score at least three goals in the
first-half but the experienced campaigner seemed shaky to beat Bhutan keeper Hari Gurung, who was brilliant between the posts to give his side a relieved draw.
Rubel Miah, the right winger was a constant threat for Bhutan defence in the first half with his speedy run and play.
Rony wasted a bright chance in the 14th minute when Rubel provided a neat low cross from the right flank but Rony’s weak effort went wide despite having an empty net.
Bhutan keeper Hari made a brilliant save to deny Rony’s another effort in the 22nd minute when Rubel delivered another precise cross from the right but this time Rony saw his nice header from a hand-shaking distance was cleared by the keeper.
Rony wasted another chance in the 41st minute when Hari punched a cross of Jafar Iqbal and Rony’s shot on a rebounder was again brilliantly saved by the keeper.
Bangladesh coach Tom Sainfiet strengthened the attack by sending Jewel Rana, Mehedi Hasan Tapu and Nabib Newaz Jibon from the bench.
Bangladesh attackers put immense pressure on the Bhutan defence till the last minute only to see all of their efforts went in vain.
-With New Age input