Bangladesh put in a spirited performance and were unlucky not to go home with a win as they drew 2-2 with India....
Bangladesh produced an emphatic display in their 2-2 draw against India on Wednesday at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Goa.
Their Dutch coach Lodewijk Kruif was pleased with his side's performance and singled out 17 year old Hemonta Biswas for special praise.
"I think we played a very good match over 87 minutes, with a lot of maturity and power. We were willing, playing with one-two-three touches and had very good positional play. Our young players, five of them are under the age of 20 and they showed what they can do.
“The number 10 (Hemonta Biswas) was the best player on the pitch and is 17 years old. The performance was good. I told you before, the preparation time was very short, so you never know how it will turn out. I think the coach can be proud of them, they can be proud of themselves. They were fighting for the honour of Bangladesh. It’s a small football country and they need a little bit of glory."
When asked if it was a bittersweet result as they could have won the game, he said these things happen in football and the team performed well apart from individual errors. The Dutchman mentioned that it was the second occasion when his side conceded late against India to see the scores level. It must be noted that Sunil Chhetri had scored the equalizing goal (90+5 minute) in the 1-1 draw against Bangladesh in the SAFF Cup 2013.
"It was because it was the same story for the second time. But that is football. It is also India’s quality that they can score in the last few minutes. You know most goals are scored in the last 10 minutes everywhere in the world because one of the teams loses concentration or they don’t have the ability to chase every ball."
"But I can’t look at India as I don’t know their players. I can only look at my team - a young, inexperienced team. The problem today was the two goals we conceded were personal mistakes of Yeasin Khan. It is football. When you go home with a win it feels good, but it’s a process as we are moving step by step. We are building a good team for the future and I am happy with the first step.
"We trained for 3 days. We selected 28 boys. We had trouble with injures and getting visas so we had to drop six guys first and came here with 21, and from the 21, 10-to-11 are new fresh fishes in the team and Under-20 and Under-21 players.
When asked if India looked sharper and fitter, he said he noticed the difference between the sides.
"I was a little bit surprised. I saw the number nine (Robin Singh). I don’t know the guy, their central striker. He looked like a tree. I was surprised the coach (Wim Koevermans) changed him because in my opinion it is important the number 9 is a big strong guy to keep the ball for others. When he changed him, I was happy. The physical behaviour of India was better. Not in the freshness of playing, but in the bodies they were stronger and heavier. When you look at my boys, we have 10-to-11 guys and they are not fully grown up as yet. You could see that clearly."
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