The Bangladesh national football team showed tremendous resilience as they bounced back from their 5-0 drubbing against Thailand to register a creditable 1-1 draw against Malaysia at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium yesterday.
Striker Zahid Hasan Emily scored an 83rd minute equaliser from the penalty spot after his strike partner Mithun Chowdhury was brought down inside the box. Bangladesh were trailing 1-0 at the time thanks to a 22nd minute strike from Malaysian midfielder Mohammad Khyril Muhymeen. Bangladesh were playing with ten men after midfielder Pranotosh Kumar was given the marching orders for a second bookable offence in the 78th minute. However, Emily kept his composure and coolly converted the spot-kick to draw level and send a few hundred Bangladeshi fans at the iconic Bukit Jalil Stadium to raptures. There were some nervy moments towards the end for Bangladesh, but goalkeeper Mamun Khan, playing in this match instead of Mostakur Rahman, held firm at the goal to deny the hosts a win.
This was the seventh meeting between the two sides with Bangladesh beating their Malaysian opponents only once, losing the other five. The last meeting between the two sides was a 1-0 loss for Bangladesh in Jeddah back in 1997.
Manager Satyajit Das Rupu said his team's brave attitude was what earned them the draw. “We fought for 90 minutes and did not lose hope for a single moment. We played against their full-strength side and fought back after conceding an early goal,” said Rupu.
The Malaysia coach Datuk Rajgopal said that Bangladesh played good football during an entertaining match.
The home team were quick out of the blocks, creating a couple of good chances before they took the lead when Muhymeen rose high, beating his markers Sujan and Mamunul, to head home a corner from the right wing.
Khyril put the ball in the net again in the 34th minute, but was rightly flagged offside. As the half wore on, Bangladesh came into the game more and had two off-target long range efforts by wingers Shakil Ahmed and Zahid Hossain. Bangladesh registered their first effort on target in stoppage time as Waly Faisal again took an attempt from distance, only to see the Malaysian keeper gather it comfortably.
The second half was a much quieter affair with Malaysia creating a few more near-chances, which were cleared by either the defence of the goalie.
It seemed Bangladesh were out of the game when Pranotosh was sent off with twelve minutes left on the clock. But the 10-man Bangladesh bit back as substitute striker Mithun ran through on goal and was recklessly clattered by Irwan Fadzli inside the box. Emily did the rest to ensure a heartening draw for the men in red and green.