Bangladesh’s hopes of advancing to the Asian Cup qualification stage ended after a humiliating 1-3 defeat to hosts Bhutan at the Changlimithang Stadium in Thimpu on Monday.
Forward Chengcho Gyeltshen scored a brace in the either halves after Jigme Dorji put Bhutan ahead in the fourth minute.
Atiqur Rahman Meshu momentarily revived some hopes of Bangladesh, who needed a scoring draw, when he pulled one goal back to make the scoreline 1-2 at one stage before Bhutan struck again to seal the deal.
With their remarkable victory, which was their first ever international win over Bangladesh in nine meetings, Bhutan booked a spot in the 24-nation 2019 Asian Cup qualification group stage.
It came as a doomsday for Bangladesh, who will be now at the mercy of FIFA and AFC for international football in next three years.
Bhutan, who seemed aggressive from the beginning of the game, put immense pressure on Bangladesh defense by utilising two wings and took only four minutes to take the lead.
Bangladesh’s defense put a horrible display as they failed to mark Bhutan defender Jigme Dorji, who comfortably headed home following a corner.
Chengcho, who led the Bhutan’s attacking third with his speed and skill, doubled the lead in the 26th minute after another awful display by Bangladesh’s back-four.
Chengcho found a long ball falling in the edge of the box and he outmuscled his marker Mamun Miah before brilliantly headed the ball home over advancing keeper Ashraful Islam Rana.
Bangladesh tried to control the midfield in the second half and reduced the margin in the 63rd minute when Meshu’s head following a Mamunul Islam’s free kick from right found the far corner of the net.
However, Chengcho showed his skill again in the 76th minute when the speedy striker dodged past two defenders before slotting home with a powerful strike from the edge of the box.
Bhutan striker wasted a chance of celebrating a hat-trick three minutes later when his shot from the spot was saved by goalkeeper Rana after Mamun Miah handed down a shot of Bhutan captain Karma Tshering inside the box that forced the referee to indicate penalty against Bangladesh.
Bangladesh’s Belgian coach Tom Saintfiet made three substitutions in the match to boost the attack by sending Jewel Rana, Zahid Hasan Ameli and Enamul Haq in place of Enamul Hossain Sarif, Shakhwat Hossain Rony and Mohammad Abdullah but all his efforts went in vain.
Bhutan 3 (Jigme Dorji 4, Chngcho Gyeltshen 26, 76) v Bangladesh 1 (Meshu 63)
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