Meet Lebanon next
Bangladesh advanced into the next round with a 3-0 aggregate after playing out a goalless draw against Pakistan in their second-leg match of the 2014 World Cup Asian Zone Round-1 qualifiers at the Punjab Stadium in Lahore yesterday.
Bangladesh, who won the home match 3-0 at, will now face Lebanon in another two-leg pre-qualifiers. They travel to Beirut to play the away match on July 23 before hosting the high-profile Middle-Eastern nation in Dhaka on July 28.
Bangladesh, who drowned Pakistan in rain on home soil, looked determined to keep their slate clean against Pakistan with their new Macedonian coach Nikola Ilievski adopting an attacking approach from the outset with Zahid Hasan Emily and Mithun Chowdhury in up front.
Both sides fought equally in front of a capacity crowd at Punjab Stadium but no one could yield any scoring chances in the first-half.
Pakistan, who needed a monumental task of winning 4-0 to keep their World Cup dream alive, put pressure on the tourists after resumption but they could not find the back of the Bangladesh net, marshalled by goalkeeper-cum-captain Biplob Bhattacharjee, who was solid under the bar.
Ilievski brought in Abdul Baten Komol and winger Zahid Hossain, who scored one of three goals in the first leg, in place of Shakil Ahmed and Monaem Khan Raju after the break. But the ploy only enabled Bangladesh to adopt a defensive strategy.
Pakistan came close to opening the account in the 50th minute but Azlan Ahmed missed the target narrowly after being nicely set up by Arif Mahmood while Biplob made a superb save, tipping a goal-bound chip from Abbas over the bar.
Pakistan picked up five corners in the second-half but failed to cash in on those while Bangladesh produced a couple of counterattacks and narrowly missed one of them.
-With New Age input