It was their second match in the SAFF Championship and they showed tremendous character and perseverance to come out with a point despite being a man down. Bangladesh were the better team for major parts of the second half against tournament favourites India.
The first setback for Bangladesh was Sunil Chhetri’s goal. Both Topu Barman and Tariq Kazi were keeping the Indian veteran at bay but they made one mistake and Chhetri made them pay. Apart from that they held the defence together and allowed their midfielders to take control. The Bangla Tigers squandered massive chances as they were not clinical in front of goal.
The biggest blow for Bangladesh was in the second half when Bishwanath Ghosh received a red card and they were a man down with over thirty minutes to play. But the character that Oscar Bruzon’s men showed was immaculate as they even restored parity and held tournament favourites India to a 1-1 draw.
After the match, Interim head coach Oscar Bruzon appreciated the performance of his men even after going a man down. “We are Bangladesh football and our football is alive,” Bruzon began. “We went out to play positive football and we did.”
The Spaniard continued lauding when he was quizzed about the turnaround after going a man down. “What I’ve been communicating with the boys is that we can be an unbeatable force, if we all play with one mind,” he explained. “We controlled the first half and despite being a man down, we had good control in the central areas throughout the 90 minutes.”
The Spaniard highlighted how he used his substitutions to great effect and the fresh legs never allowed them to feel that they were a man down. “We substituted five players in the interval of 10 minutes to adapt. I did not feel that we were playing with 10 men in the second half. I feel we missed an opportunity to win all three points,” said the tactician.
However, Bangladesh currently cannot rest on their laurels as they will be up against the hosts Maldives in their next SAFF Championship clash. It will be interesting to see how Bruzon’s men will be lining up against Maldives.