Bangladesh come from behind to draw against Afghanistan

Bangladesh forward Sheikh Morsalin celebrates after scoring with captain Jamal Bhuiyan during their 2nd FIFA friendly against against Afghanistan at the Kings Arena in Dhaka on 8 September 2023Prothom Alo

Bangladesh came from a goal-down to play a 1-1 draw with higher ranked Afghanistan in their 2nd and last FIFA friendly in a hard fought encounter at the Bashundhara Kings Arena in Dhaka on Thursday, reports news agency UNB.

After the first half ended goalless, Afghan striker Jabar Sharza scored the first goal in the match in the 53rd minute to put the visitors ahead.

Bangladesh’s rising star forward Sheikh Morsalin equalised in the 63rd minute with a tap in goal and it ended up being the last goal from either side in the contest.

Tempers were flaring from the very start of the match as, Afghan coach Abdullah Al Mutahiri and Bangladesh’s assistant coach Hasan Al Mamun received red cards in the 23rd minute of the match for getting into a confrontation with each other in the touchline.

Bangladesh captain Jamal Bhuiyan greets the fans after the match
Shamsul Hoque

After the tensed first half, Afghanistan, who are ranked 32 places above Bangladesh, broke the deadlock with Sharza heading the ball home from a corner kick.

Incidentally, it was the first goal in the country’s newest international football venue –Kings Arena –which hosted its first international match venue last Sunday during the first friendly between Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

Morsalin, who had spoiled a golden opportunity against Afghanistan to score a winner, compensated for his previous mistake by scoring the match equaliser just five minutes later.

Bishwanath Ghosh delivered the cross from the right side and all Morsalin had to do was send the ball into an open net, which he did splendidly.

After the equaliser, Bangladesh put Afghanistan under pressure to score a late winner, but the Afghan defense stood strong to deny the hosts.

The match, however, saw a third red card in the added time of the second half, as Afghan mid-fielder Faysal Shayesteh was given his marching orders after getting booked a second yellow card.

With the result, the series ended in a draw as the first match had ended in a goalless draw.

The two friendlies were part of the Bangladesh national football team’s preparation ahead of the next month’s FIFA World Cup Qualifiers against the Maldives.

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