Bangladesh ended their campaign in the group stage of the Asian Games hockey with 0-5 thrashing to Pakistan, but took satisfaction from the result, which players and coach said was better than expected.
The men in red and green went in the back foot after conceding a goal in the very first minute and could never provide Pakistan any real competition throughout 60 minutes.
Muhammad Atiq opened the scoring for Pakistan at the very onset before Mubashar Ali struck from two penalty corners, respectively in 8th and 25th minute to lead Pakistan 2-0 in the first two quarters.
Pakistan faced some resistance in the third and final quarter to remain satisfy with only two others, thanks to a field goal from Shan Ali in 36th minute and Atiq’s penalty corner in 48th minute.
Bangladesh’s only meaningful chance in the game came in the 55th minute after a successful review for a penalty corner but they wasted it after poor stop by defender Imran Hasan Pintu.
Pakistan, on the other hand, got seven penalty corners in the game and converted three of them to return with a big win that also helped them finish Group B as champions.
‘If we could defend the penalty corners better may be the result would have been better, maybe we have lost by only three goals,’ lamented Bangladesh captain Farhad Ahmed Shitul.
‘Still, I would say it was a better result for us. We lost to the same team by 0-7 in the Asia Cup at home,’ said Shitul, who has now led Bangladesh to third place finish in the group.
Coach Gobinathan Krishnamurthy took the satisfaction from the fact Bangladesh played better in the latter halves and did not concede more than two goals during the period.
‘We started off badly with two early goals, but in the second quarter, the third quarter, we were composed, and we only concede two goals in the quarters. So I think that was good,’ he said.
‘We played to our standard. I think most of the players played to their best level,’ added the Malaysian.
Bangladesh will now play against South Korea in the fifth place deciding match, where a win will give them their best result in the Asian Games.
Gobinathan was expecting a better result from the team if they were given enough practicing opportunities.
‘In two years’ time you can expect them play better. If they continue train, continue play practice matches, than you can see something from Bangladesh. If you stop in the middle after this, then it’s a problem,’ he said.
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