Under-fire Bangladesh goalkeeper Shahidul Alam Sohel said on Sunday that he couldn’t see the ball properly due to floodlight, which forced him making a costly blunder during team’s Saturday’s final group match against Nepal in SAFF Championship.
During the 33rd minute of the match, Nepal striker Bimal Gharti Magar took an innocuous free-kick from 30 yards out, which any goalkeeper would find it easy to punch away.
But the ball slipped out of Sohel’s grip to cross the goal line, which left Bangladesh shell-shocked.
A demoralised Bangladesh could not overcome the shock and suffered a 0-2 defeat to be eliminated from the group phase when a draw was enough for them to go through.
‘Actually I couldn’t see the ball because of floodlights,’ said Sohel, who has a history of making similar blunders in the past.
‘It’s was my fault that I conceded such a silly goal. I accept all the faults and due to my mistake Bangladesh couldn’t reach into the semi-final.’
Sohel began his poor show in his debut match in the Delhi SAFF Championship in 2011 against Nepal in the first group match.
Nepal skipper Sagar Thapa tried a free-kick from almost halfway in the last minute of the five minutes added time on that occasion but Sohel was not in the position to block it.
The unbelievable mistake eventually ruled Bangladesh out of semi-final race.
The Abahani keeper made another mistake in the 2015 Bangabandhu Gold Cup final against Malaysia Under-22 team as he was found off-balance when Malaysia captain Nazirul Nayeem found the right corner of the net.
Sohel was also responsible for Bangladesh’s shocking 0-1 defeat over Sri Lanka in the FIFA international friendly in Nilfamari just five days before the SAFF Championship.
Sri Lanka midfielder Muhammad Fazal tried a long range shot from almost 35 yards out and Sohel was not in position to save it.
National team’s English head coach Jamie Day surprisingly kept faith on Sohel, though he was not part of the group that attended a conditioning camp in Qatar and South Korea before SAFF Championship.
Even though Ashraful Islam Rana has done exceptionally well in the Asian Games but the coach opted to keep him only in the side bench.
‘We had a dream of playing final and win the title but I broke everyone’s heart and I apologised to them, who came to the gallery to support us,’ said a broken Sohel.
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