Following a heartbreaking exit from SAFF Championship 2021, the Bangladesh football team players are devastated. Just like that the goalkeeper Anisur Rahman Zico's heart is shattered as well.
The wall of men in red and green is still disappointed with referee's decision to award a controversial late penalty to Nepal. Zico had an interview today with T Sports, where the 24-years-old talked about the frustration of the team.
"We could not sleep last night as we were really sad and frustrated. Everything was fine until a wrong decision shattered our dreams," said Anisur Rahman Zico.
"What the referee did yesterday was not fair for us. He could have avoided that wrong decision."
"We had a dream of playing and wanted to play the final right from the core of our hearts, to bring back the glorious memories of old times. We were all united to reach this destination."
When asked about his red card
"We make mistakes in the field and Rakib made one by playing that backpass. I had no option but to leave the posts to intercept the ball."
"Unfortunately the ball hit my hand in a one-on-one situation and the referee showed me a red card."
"That was a fair decision. I completely agreed to that decision by the referee."
"However, just less than 10 minutes after that red card, the penalty decision the referee gave was by no means a good one."
"Rather than awarding the penalty to Nepal, the referee could have shown second yellow card to the Nepal player (Anjan Bista) for diving."
"Although I could not watch the rest of the match after getting sent to the dressing room, I somewhat was trying to get out and look at the scoreboard."
"Those 10-15 minutes were really tough for me. It felt as if time were not passing by."
"I just knew that a penalty was awarded to Nepal and noticed that all the players were arguing with the referee. Other than that, I knew nothing about how this penalty was conceded by our defenders."
"When I came out of the dressing room, I watched the clip of the penalty awarded to Nepal multiple times and I believe that was never a penalty."
"It has been a common scenario for us in recent times. During the AFC Cup qualifiers, we could not qualify for the main round as the referee wrongly showed a red card to Sushanto against ATK Mohun Bagan. If that were not the case, the result could have been different."
"Before the start of the match, coach Oscar Bruzon asked us to be cautios as he sensed the referee would give decisions against us. In the end, that is what happened."
When asked about team spirit
"We had a confidence of winning every game which Oscar Bruzon developed among us. We did not lose before any match."
"During practice sessions or in the dressing room everyone had the same mentality of winning, we knew we came in Maldives to achieve something."
"Since the day Oscar was appointed, he tried to build this mentality of winning among all the players in almost all the times."
When asked about whether Zico told Rana anything after the red card
"Yes, when I was going out, I shaked hands with Ashraful Islam Rana (Bhai) and asked him to carefully defend the post."
When asked about Zico's desire in the future
"Obviously there is no endpoint to learning. I want to learn everyday and improve myself."
"My goalkeeping coach Noyon Bhai helps me during practice sessions and teaches me new things. He also motivates and pushes me to work harder."
"Now I am trying to do well match-by-match. Sometimes it does not meet the expectation so I have to overcome them and give my very best shot."
"All in all, I want to give my country a trophy. There is no benefit of having a long career if I cannot contribute in my team's glory."