Bangladesh Under-23 football team’s goal of winning gold medal in the 13th South Asian Games suffered a blow when they lost to Bhutan 0-1 in their opening match at the Dasarath Stadium in Khathmandu, Nepal on Monday.
Forward Chencho Gyeltshen scored the match-winning goal in the 65th minute to give Bhutan a winning start to the campaign.
In the last edition in Guwahati, India 2016, Bangladesh earned bronze while Bhutan were eliminated from the group stage with a single point.
Bangladesh coach Jamie Day blamed the poor show by his charges for their loss against Bhutan.
‘We looked sluggish today [Monday], we looked tired and sloppy. We did not play well indeed. They played very well and deserved to win. You gave the chances to the opposition and they took the opportunity,’ said Day at the post match press conference.
The Englishman also believed that if they wanted to reach the final they had to raise the standard of play of their remaining three matches.
‘I honestly don’t think, anyone played well today for us. We have to do better in the next three games. We need to raise our level. We only need to improve [to play the final], this is what we need.’
Bhutan coach Nawang Dendup believed that hard work bore fruit for his team.
‘I think, the first 10 minutes it was very difficult for us to get the rhythm with the ground and everything…After that 10 minute, it went very right. I think, my players did very hard work and I am very happy with them,’ said the coach.
Match winner Chencho echoed the coach, ‘We needed three points and we did it. Our first mission is complete.’
Bangladesh will face Maldives in their second at the same venue at 5:15pm today while Bhutan will take on hosts and defending champions Nepal at 1:15pm.
In their reaming league-phase matches, Bangladesh will face Sri Lanka and Nepal on December 5 and 8 respectively.
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