In 2003 SAFF Championship, our main target was beating India. We all knew they are the main contenders for title. Unfortunately, we got them in the semi-final. We decided that our playing tactics would be ‘pass and run’ for attack not giving them any chance to build up an attack.
We got the lead in that match with Kanchan [Rokonuzzaman] bhai scoring in the second half but India levelled the margin few minutes later, which brought tension among the Bangladeshi fans.
We had a huge fan following. They were cheering on us from the gallery even after a 1-1 situation in the stipulated time. I could never imagine it would end with my golden goal.
But you know, sometimes something happens on a sudden, which leaves a mark in history. It was that kind of achievement for me.
The ‘golden Goal’ rule was effective at that time, which meant the match would be finished if either side scores first in extra-time. That was the last time that the ‘golden goal’ rule was effective.
As it was our home venue, we had supporters in our favour and we had the chance to score from ‘golden goal’. The whole condition was in our favour. Losing the game never came to my mind, but I never thought that I would score the goal that way.
The ball came to my feet when an Indian player made a miss pass. I took a shot after dribbling one. I even didn’t see the goalkeeper’s [Indian goalkeeper] position at the post.
I don’t know why at that moment I thought to take that shot. I thought I should try, only a try. I tried and was successful, that’s it. As far as I remember, I scored in-between seven to 10 minutes of extra-time.
After scoring, I left the field with joy. After the match, band singer Biplob, who wore a black dress and gave me a big hug to congratulate me. The huge crowd at the ground was cheering on my name, which brought tears of joy to my eyes.
That scene still floats on my eyes. Even today that moment makes me happy. Of course, I will bear that goal-scoring moment in my mind for the rest of my life.
After seeing the faces of my team-mates, coach and others, I felt, yes, I did something loveable. I know, even today it [my goal] creates storm over a cup of tea among the football-lovers.
I am also indebted to my coach Kotan [George Kotan] for encouraging us with an emotional speech before the match. Glad that we also achieved our ultimate goal in the tournament, which is achieving the title.
Wahid Ullah Bakul writes the interview
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