Bangladesh began their AFC Asian Cup 2023 qualifiers campaign with a losing note as they suffered a 0-2 goal defeat to mighty Bahrain in their opening group E match held today (Wednesday) at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Midfielders Ali Abdulla Haram and Karim Al Aswad scored one goal each for Bahrain. Both the goals came in the first half.
Haram and Karim Al Aswad ensured a facile victory for Bahrain, who were on course for a huge victory but Bangladesh goal-keeper Anisur Rahman Zico was superb under the bar as he failed Bahrain's number of scoring opportunities.
In the day's match, Ali Abdulla Haram's opened the net scoring the first goal for Bahrain in the 34th minute with a perfect header from the close range capitalizing on a corner kick.
Kamil Al-Aswad doubled the lead in the 42nd minute with a low shot that found the net after beating Bangladesh's custodian Zico.
Back with a healthy 2-0 lead, Bahrain resumed the second half and continued their onslaught but the boys in red and green were firm and could not allow mighty Bahrain to penetrate the net further.
During the proceeding, Bangladesh, however, got only a scoring opportunity when skipper Jamal Bhuyan's free-kick narrowly missed the side post in the 31st minute.
Bahrain and Bangladesh have only ever met once before in the 1979 Presidents Cup, with the Middle East side winning 2-0.
Bangladesh, placed in group E along with Bahrain Turkmenistan and Malaysia in the AFC Asian Cup, will play the second match against Turkmenistan on 11 June and meet host Malaysia on 14 June.
On the other hand, Bahrain will now face Malaysia on Saturday before meeting Turkmenistan next Tuesday in the third and last match of the qualifying contest.
The group winners automatically go through to the finals.