Bangladesh coach Jamie Day: If you give Sunil Chhetri a chance, he scores

The English coach rued that his players gave away the ball far too cheaply to Igor Stimac’s India…

Bangladesh suffered their fifth defeat in their seventh Group E game of the 2022 World Cup and 2023 Asian Cup joint qualifiers as they went down 0-2 to India on Monday evening in Doha.

Sunil Chhetri scored a brace in the second half to fire India into the third spot in the group with Bangladesh’s chances of finishing fourth all but over unless a few results go their way, and they must defeat Oman on the final matchday.

What did the Bangladesh coach say on Sunil Chhetri?

Bangladesh coach Jamie Day was disappointed that his side couldn’t convert the half chances that came their way and heaped praise on Sunil Chhetri for being clinical upfront.

Sunil Chhetri, Bangladesh vs India, 2022 World Cup Qualifiers

“For a long period, we did well, we had a couple of half-chances. But if you give Chhetri a chance, he scores like showed tonight. He had two chances in the last 20 minutes, and he took them. So, we move on to the next game now and take positives out of that,” said Day.

Cannot defend for 90 minutes against international teams

The score-line could have been much worse for Bangladesh had the referee awarded a penalty in the first half when Chhetri was brought down inside the box or had Chinglensana Singh’s header not being cleared on the goal-line. In fact, Sandesh Jhingan and Subhashish Bose too came close from corner-kicks as Bangladesh struggled to deal with crosses.

Day pointed that although his team’s work rate was top class, they gave away the ball far too easily to their opponents which made life further difficult for them.

“I thought for 80 minutes, we competed very well. The shape was nice and difficult to break down. You see the difference in quality between the players when they were in possession. I think one of the disappointments was that we gave the ball away too much and gave possession back to India,” he mentioned.

“I think our players were fantastic. They work their socks off, give their best every day. We just couldn’t keep the ball and that shows in games where you give possession away too much. And if you do that against better teams and better players, then at some stage they’ll punish you,” he explained.

He suggested that it’s crucial for Bangladesh to be more creative when they have the ball, although that’s something which they can only overturn in the long term as opposed to it being an immediate goal.

“You can’t defend for 90 minutes against international teams, but again I can’t fault their effort. They worked hard. We just need to be better on the ball but that’s a long-term plan, not a short-term plan.”


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