Bangladesh were drawn against Laos in the first round of the preliminary joint qualifiers of the 2022 FIFA World Cup and the 2023 AFC Asian Cup in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Wednesday.
Bangladesh, placed 188th in the current FIFA rankings, will play a double-legged qualifier against 184th-ranked Laos on June 6 and June 11 respectively to decide which team would go through to the next round of the group-based qualifiers.
In the past, Bangladesh have played against Laos three times, winning once, losing once and drawing on the other occasion.
The first time both the team’s met was back in 2003 in the AFC Asian Cup qualifiers in Hong Kong where Laos beat Bangladesh 2-1.
The second match was a FIFA friendly in Vientiane on March, 2018 where Bangladesh managed a 2-2 draw.
The latest meeting took place in October last year in Sylhet during the group stages of the Bangabandhu Gold Cup which Bangladesh won 1-0.
Bangladesh coach Jamie Day welcomed the draw and believed it would be a close battle.
‘I think it’s a good draw. We have played them [Laos] before. So we know a little bit about them,’ said the English coach.
‘It will still be two very tough matches as both the games last year were very close and could have gone either way so we need to perform well to get the right result over the two legs.’
The draw pitted the six seeded teams (ranked 35th to 40th in Asian) against the six unseeded teams (ranked 41st to 46th in Asia) for the first round of the joint qualifiers.
The six winners will join the top 34 top teams from Asia for the group-based second round of the qualifiers.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Football