Dhaka, Mar 24 (UNB) - Bangladesh Youth team made their early exist from the AFC U-23 Championship after suffering 2nd consecutive defeat losing to stronger Palestine by 0-1 goal in their 2nd Group B match at the Khalifa Sports City Stadium in Isa Town, Bahrain on Sunday.
Hani Abdullah scored the match winner for Palestine in the 22nd minute of the match by long shot from 35 yards.
Bangladesh played an attacking football in the second half against their mighty opponents after a defensive strategy in the first half. Matin Miah came close to level the margin in 70th minute but he failed to convert it correctly.
With the day’s feat, Palestine, ranked 100th, smartly reached the 16-team final round of the meet scheduled for Thailand January next with one match to spare against hosts Bahrain on Tuesday.
Palestine dominated the four-team Group B with all-win record securing full six points from straight two matches scoring 10 goals without conceding any after crushing Sri Lanka by 9-0 goals in their first match on Friday last.
Hosts Bahrain followed the leader neck and neck securing three points from one match after beating Bangladesh by 1-0 goal in the first match on Friday and were scheduled to play their 2nd match against lowly Sri Lanka on Sunday night.
Touring Bangladesh, which also conceded a narrow 0-1 goal defeat against upper ranked and hosts Bahrain in their first Group B match on Friday, will play Sri Lanka on Tuesday (March 26) at 10pm (Bangladesh time) in the remaining group match.
After the match, Bangladesh, FIFA ranked 192, maintained their dismal record against Palestine as they could never manage a win against Palestine since their first meeting in the AFC Challenge Cup in Dhaka in 2006.
Hosts Bangladesh national team played to a 1-1 in their first match in 2006, suffered 0-2 goals defeat in the FIFA International Friendly in 2011 and conceded 0-1 defeat in the AFC Asia Cup in 2013. Bangladesh U-23 team suffered 0-3 defeat against hosts Palestine in 2017.
Forty-four teams, split into eleven groups, are taking part in the AFC U-23 qualifiers, a qualifying meet of the Tokyo Olympics 2020.
Later, 11 group champions with four best group runners-up and hosts Thailand will play in the 16-team final round of the meet slated for January next year. The top three teams will qualify for Tokyo Olympics.