The Bangladesh Under-21 hockey team got off to a flying start in the five-match Test series against Oman, handing the visitors a massive 5-1 defeat in the first match at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium yesterday.
Although the match started 45 minutes later than scheduled due to a lengthy inaugural ceremony, the hosts did not take much time to open their account. Captain Ashraful Islam converted a penalty corner after a combination between Fazle Rabbi and Naim Uddin in the third minute.
Four minutes later national forward Arshad Hossain doubled the lead, capitalising on a square-pass from Rabbi. Sohanur Rahman made it 3-0 in the 17th minute, converting another penalty corner with a combination between Saiful Alam and Naim Uddin.
After the break, Naim wrote his name on the scoresheet through a collective attack before Rashad Al-Fazari reduced the margin in the 35th minute.
Mahbubur Rahman wrapped up the victory through a field goal in the 42nd minute to give the hosts the perfect start in the series, which is part of their preparations for next year’s Bangabandhu Junior AHF Asian Cup.
Despite the big win, head coach Mamunur Rashid was not fully satisfied with the performance of his charges.
“I think the boys were a bit nervous because of the first match and they could not give their best. There are some shortcomings which helped Oman pull a goal back and win a penalty corner,” Mamunur said, adding that he would now work on those areas.
About the opponents, Mamunur believes Oman also could not play their natural game due to fatigue.
“They were in Malaysia for one month and played a few matches against Pakistan before coming here. I think they will perform better in the next matches,” said the former national player.
Bangladesh will play their second match against Oman today at 6:00pm.