Kings' coach proud of team's showing in defeat to Sharjah FC

Bashundhara Kings took on Sharjah FC in the preliminary match of the AFC Champions League in Sharjah, UAE on 16 August 2023Bashundhara Kings Facebook page

Bashundhara Kings coach Oscar Bruzon is pleased with his charges despite suffering a 0-2 defeat against UAE club Sharjah FC in the preliminary round match of the AFC Champions League, the top club-level competition in Asia, in Sharjah on Tuesday.

With the defeat, the Kings were eliminated from the competition in what was also their maiden appearance.

Still, the Spaniard coach is happy with his players because they fought hard against a much stronger team which had several players who have played in top European clubs such as former Barcelona players Miralem Pjanic and Paco Alcacer. On Tuesday, Sharjah’s Brazilian recruit Luanzinho scored a brace to knock the Kings’ out of the competition.

Although the match ended in a defeat, it was definitely a learning experience for local players like Topu Barman, Bishwanath Ghosh and Anisur Rahman.

An action from the Bashundhara Kings and Sharjah FC match
Bashundhara Kings Facebook page

Kings have been at the pinnacle of club football in Bangladesh for the past four years, winning the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) four years straight. There is nothing left for the Kings to achieve in Bangladesh, hence their next dream is to make a mark at the Asian level.

Competing at the AFC Champions League was a huge challenge for the Kings and there were fears that they might suffer a massive defeat. But that didn’t happen. Instead, the Kings were left ruing the missed goal-scoring chances after the match, wondering what could’ve been.

Bruzon had said before the match that the key for his team will be to capitalise on their chances and also to go above and beyond on the field.

Kings were guilty of not capitalising on their chances, with their Brazilian forward Dorielton Gomes, who has scored 20 goals in the BPL, missing an easy chance that could’ve levelled the margin in the second half.

But Bruzon should be pleased that his charges performed better than what was expected of them

In his post-match reaction, Bruzon told Prothom Alo that he was disappointed about missed chances but was proud for the fight his team showed, “It would’ve felt even better if the result against Sharjah was better. We wasted chances. But I am pleased that the Bashundhara Kings players really tested the Sharjah FC team. We fought the entire match.”

The fight shown by the Kings against Sharjah was truly admirable. However, both Sharjah goals were in some way results of errors made by the Kings’ defenders. Pjanic completely fooled the Kings’ defenders with his cutback, before crossing the ball to Luanzinho, who sent the ball home. Even in the second goal, the defense could’ve better.

Still, the fighting mentality shown by the Kings’ in their debut in the AFC Champions League against a top Asian side is a good sign for the club’s future in the continental level.