Morsalin screamer earns Bangladesh a point

Bangladesh's Sheikh Morsalin celebrates a goal against Lebanon on 21 November in 2023Prothom Alo

Young striker Sheikh Mosralin scored a blinder to help Bangladesh earn a point in their World Cup Qualifiers at the Kings’ Arena, Dhaka on Tuesday.

Morsalin, who was banned from the side for disciplinary issues earlier in the year, shot a screamer from outside the box in the 72nd minute of the match that created a huge roar among about 7,000 spectators in the stadium.

It was a great response from the hosts after committing a howler to concede a goal four minutes ago. As many as three defenders went to clear a loose ball in their own box and goalkeeper Srabon completely missed it just to present an easy chance for Majed Osman.

The crowd felt dejected as they saw the perennial ominous signs of men in red and blue losing focus and spirit in the business end of a football match. Things looked even worse as Srabon was basically a reserve goalkeeper who had come in place of Mitul Marma after the break.

But the men of Javier Cabrera turned around the table as they gave a quick response and looked very favourite to clinch three points against a side that are 79 positions higher in the FIFA ranking.

Bangladesh's Sheikh Morsalin celebrates a goal against Lebanon on 21 November in 2023
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Not only the last 10 minutes, but apart from the first 15 minutes of the game, the 183-ranking Bangladesh looked the better side with better stamina and skill against their powerful middle-eastern oppositions.

Morsalin and Foysal Ahmed Fahim looked sharp in both the wings but Bangladesh desperately missed a pure finisher. Morsalin as a matter of fact should have fetched the winner in the 89th minute when he shot the ball away.

Bangladesh defenders, apart from the silly goal, were really good as Tariq Kazi showed his class while Bishwanath Ghosh proved he is the man with a tank full of stamina, a thing most of the Bangladeshi players lacked in the past.

It was indeed a great mental test for the ballers as they were thrashed by a whopping 7-0 last week against Australia but it did not seem that dented their psyche.

Lebanon started the match with some forward movements but Bangladesh got a chance in the 10th minute when Morsalin provided a good cross that Fahim could not reach properly.

Fourteen minutes later Jamal Bhuiyun projected a good corner and Bishwanath connected with a header just to see the opponent custodian saving it.

About 7,000 spectators were present at King's Arena, Dhaka
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Jamal, who is currently plying his trade in a lower division club in Argentina- Sol de Mayo- looked tired and the coach had to replace him at the hour’s mark. Even a couple of years ago Jamal seemed the heart of Bangladesh midfield but these days Isa Faisal, Mohammad Hridoy along with the stout defenders do not allow his absence to be felt.

Bangladesh had two half chances in the 33rd and 45th minute but Lebanon wasted a good chance in the fifth minute of the second half.

Bangladesh, however, conceded the goal in a childish manner minutes before the Morsalin magic. He received a ball from a Lebanese defender before drinking and fired the missile-like shot.

And after the goal the young striker was so ecstatic that he went to the gallery where he shared the sheer joy with the elated fans.

Morsalin had to see a yellow card from the referee, but the photographers did not lose the chance to capture one of the finest moments in Bangladesh football’s history amidst a joyful night under the lights.