Asian Qualifiers: Laos 0-1 Bangladesh
Vientiane: Substitute Mohammad Rabiul Hasan struck in the second half to secure Bangladesh a 1-0 win against Laos in the first leg of their FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup 2013 Preliminary Joint Qualification on Thursday.
Bangladesh were the first to start pressing and threatened to score within the opening minutes of the game but their finishing left a lot to be desired. That was to set the tone of the first half which was marked by both teams inability to convert from close range and thus ended goalless.
The first half also witnessed multiple wayward free-kicks from both teams. Soon after Bangladesh fluffed their chances in the early minutes, it was the turn of Laos forward and skipper Souk Aphone Vongchiengkham who couldn’t quite put the finishing touch on an exciting short passage of play.
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Laos came alive post the 20th minute and put pressure on the Bangladesh defence in the 15 minutes that followed. In this period, they came close to converting twice but were denied on both occasions by Bangladesh goalkeeper Ashraful Islam.
In the second half, Laos upped the ante and came out playing an aggressive brand of football that earned them regular attention of the referee.
However, the play almost paid off as they came close to taking the lead on multiple occasions around the 60th minute but were denied by some able glovework by the Bangladesh custodian.
Eventually, it was Bangladesh who finally broke the deadlock in the 72nd minute as a long aerial pass was stylishly put away by Robiul Hasan with a low shot from just outside the box that went past goalkeeper Xaysavath in a blink.
Bangladesh continued in the same vein in the following minutes and ensured that they didn’t let the control of the game slip.
The Bangladeshi defence was happy to put their bodies on the line to hold on to the lead that earned them a number of yellow cards in the process.
Laos will travel to Dhaka for the second leg on Tuesday.
Photos: Lao Football Federation, Bangladesh Football Federation
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