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FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers: Bangladesh share spoils with Lebanon

Published at :November 23, 2023 at 05:44 PM
Modified at :January 14, 2024 at 01:14 AM
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(Courtesy : AFC Media)

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This was Lebanon’s second draw on the trot.

Bangladesh and Lebanon settled for a 1-1 draw in Group I of the Preliminary Joint Qualification – Round 2 for the FIFA World Cup 2026 and AFC Asian Cup Saudi Arabia 2027 on Tuesday.

Shekh Morsalin cancelled out Majed Osman’s opener as Bangladesh claimed the first point of their campaign while Lebanon moved to two following their opening day draw with Palestine. 

Lebanon took charge of the game from the start with Nader Matar, Hassan Maatouk and Karim Darwich all threatening inside the opening eight minutes.

Bangladesh had their first look at goal in the ninth minute when Morsalin evaded his marker before sending a long ball through but Foysal Ahmed Fahim failed to chase it down..

Lebanon struggled to find space with Ali Tneich sending his effort from just outside the box over the bar in the 13th minute which proved to be their last clear cut chance as the hosts took control of the game.

Bangladesh had a great chance three minutes later with Sohel Rana turning before sending a swivelling shot which took a deflection before whisking past Lebanon keeper Mostafa Matar’s left post.

Bangladesh came close again in the 24th minute with Tariq Kazi angling his header straight into the arms of Matar off Jamal Bhuyan’s corner.

Moments later, Kazi weaved his way past his marker from the left flank, cutting back in before setting up Rana, who was quickly dispossessed by the Lebanese defenders.

Matar kept his side in the game in the 45th minute when Rana combined well with Fahim, who sent a delightful ball intended for Morsalin, only for the Lebanese custodian to intervene in the nick of time to keep the score 0-0 heading into the break.

Both sides continued to push in the second half and a mix up between Bangladesh keeper Mitul Marma and his defenders saw the custodian fumble Hilal El Helwe’s effort from inside the box with substitute Osman charging through to slot home the opener in the 67th minute.

Bangladesh, however, drew level in spectacular fashion in the 73rd minute when Morsalin powered his way through from the centre before blasting his effort from distance to beat a diving Matar. 

Up next for Bangladesh will be Palestine while Lebanon will face Australia, with both knowing that they cannot afford to drop points when the qualifiers resume in March, 2024. 

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