Bangladesh hockey team returned to the winning ways when they beat Thailand 3-1 in their fourth Pool B match of the ongoing Asian Games at the GBK Hockey Field in Jakarta, Indonesia on Sunday.
With their third win, Bangladesh still kept their hopes alive of qualifying for the semi-finals for the first time in history.
Earlier, Bangladesh beat Oman and Kazakhstan in their first two games before losing their third match against Malaysia.
But Bangladesh now must beat mighty Pakistan in their final pool match on Tuesday if they want to qualify for the last four of the Games.
With Sunday’s win, Bangladesh moved into the third position of the Pool B with nine points which also brightened their chance of a direct entry for the next Asian Games as well as the Asia Cup.
If Bangladesh lose their last game against Pakistan and Oman beat Malaysia in the other game, then Oman will finish the group stage ahead of Bangladesh.
In the match against Thailand, Bangladesh looked a bit shaky in the first two quarters as they failed to create any notable chances.
Thailand, on the other hand, created some good chances and earned four penalty corners but couldn’t convert any of them into goal.
Bangladesh looked much more confident in the third quarter and scored two goals thanks to penalty corner specialist Ashraful Islam, who successfully scored their first two penalty corners in the 35th and 41st minutes respectively.
Thailand reduced the margin in the 48th minute when Borirak Harapan placed the ball into the middle of the box connecting in a short pass of Nisman Naseela inside the circle.
Milon Hossain sealed Bangladesh’s victory in the 55th minute after Russell Mahmud Jimmy’s shot from the edge of the circle was blocked by Thailand keeper while Milon pushed the ball to home on the rebounder.
Bangladesh’s Malaysian head coach Gobinathan Krishnamurthy was delighted with their win against an ultra-defensive Thai team.
‘Thailand played very well defensively. It was not easy to break their defences,’ Krishnamurthy said.
‘The target was to get penalty corners because we are very good at it. The problem was our forwards cannot get PCs.’
Meanwhile, both Bangladesh men’s and women’s compound archery teams were eliminated from the round of eight of the Games.
Men’s compound team, comprised of Mohammad Javed, Ashim Kumar and Abul Kashem, narrowly lost to hosts Indonesia by 230-228 points while women’s compound team, comprised of Roksana Akter, Bonna Akter and Suma Akter lost against Indonesia by 208-222 points.
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