The Bangladesh national team lost 4-0 against premier league champions Abahani in a practice match at the BKSP in Savar yesterday.
Nigerian forward Sunday Chizoba scored twice while his compatriot Emeka Darlington and local forward Nabib Newaz Jibon scored one apiece for the Sky Blues, who fielded a full-fledged outfit, with a bit of experimentation ahead of continental assignments.
The young-look national team meanwhile, earned two penalties in two halves but those spot-kicks, taken by Tawhidul Alam Sabuj and Topu Barman, were saved by Abahani goalkeepers Shahidul Alam Sohel and Sultan Ahmed.
Coaches and managers of both sides declined to read too much into the scoreline though as they have been undergoing training camps for upcoming assignments.
While Abahani have been training for a while for their AFC Cup fixtures, beginning on March 7, the national team have only had two weeks of training, mostly focussed on fitness, ahead of next month's tour of South East Asia.
“The national players are currently working on fitness while the Abahani players are in training for long. They have also played four foreign players. So there is nothing to be disheartened about with the result,” said Abahani manager Satyajit Das Rupu.
Saiful Bari Titu, who has been given charge of Abahani for the AFC Cup campaign, was not willing to get carried away with the scoreline.
“There is no scope to be too satisfied. We will have to improve further. We need to work on why we conceded the two penalties and gave away fouls around the danger zone,” Titu said. “Three of the four foreigners joined the team two days ago. So it was an opportunity to see how they are doing ahead of the AFC Cup.”
Abahani will host New Radiant SC of Maldives in their opening Group E fixture on March 7 before playing away to Bengaluru FC of India a week later. Aizawl FC of India are the other side in the group.
The national team, meanwhile, will go to Qatar tomorrow for a two-week conditioning camp before playing two matches against club sides in Thailand before eventually playing a FIFA Friendly away to Laos on March 27.