News Karnataka
Wednesday, April 24 2024

Bangladesh Team’s Road to 2026 FIFA World Cup: 3rd Stage Qualifying Hopes?

Bangladesh Football
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It is still very difficult for football fans from Bangladesh to root for their home team – they are not at all pleased with their serious successes. The “Red-Greens” never made it to the World Cup, and at the only Asian Cup in history in 1980, they suffered four defeats in the final, responding with two goals scored to seventeen missed.

The 183rd position in the latest February FIFA rankings, as well as the historical record of 110th place in the mid-90s, show that football in Bangladesh has room to grow. And although the Bengal Tigers will definitely not reach the final part of the next World Cup, I would like to see them at least in the third stage of the selection – against the best teams in Asia. If you want to support the guys with a bet, go to Mel bet BD review, and we will try to analyze the team’s chances.

The first stage is difficult even with the Maldives

Asian teams are on average very weak – that is why the continent is given so few tickets to the World Cup, and some teams have to go through three consecutive stages of qualification. The first round is a two-match confrontation, where you need to defeat only one opponent. This method eliminates the ten weakest participants in the selection, while giants like Japan are a priori absent here.

In the qualification for the 2026 World Cup, the draw brought Bangladesh against the Maldives. The tiny island state cannot boast of a strong football team, but in the FIFA rankings even they are twenty positions higher than the Red-Greens. The bookmakers had their own point of view: in the first game they considered the odds to be approximately equal, but in the second the Bengal Tigers, playing at home, were considered clear favorites.

The away match was confidently heading towards a goalless draw, and then disaster almost struck: the islanders opened the scoring in the 87th minute. The guests miraculously managed to win back in extra time, and they took away a draw from the Maldives. In the return match, the final score was 2:1 immediately after the start of the second half, but Bangladesh played in the minority for the last half hour. In other words, even against the backdrop of such a simple opponent, it was not possible to show an expressive game – there is a result, but there is nothing to be proud of.

These matches took place in October 2023 and made fans think about whether they should count on qualifying for the third stage of selection.

Stage two – the ghost of hope

A simple argument is that all the opponents in Group I of the second stage of selection are stronger than the Bangladesh team: each of them played in the last Asian Cup, unlike the Bengal Tigers. Australia was generally considered the favorite there, although it was eliminated prematurely, and Palestine was not a contender for the title, but made it out of its quartet in the playoffs. Lebanon performed more modestly than others.

With such a draw, one could say that the Bangladesh team does not have any chance of advancing further. The standings confirm this: after two rounds played, the Red-Greens occupy the last, fourth place. However, the gap from the second position, which gives a ticket to the next round, is still only one point, which means that, purely theoretically, there is still hope.

In the first round, Australia left no stone unturned against the guests from Bangladesh, defeating them 0:7. The result of the second match was more encouraging: the Red-Greens created a sensation by snatching a draw from the Lebanese national team in front of their fans. The Lebanese are not a formidable force in football, but they are 115th in the FIFA rankings – 70 places above the Bengal Tigers; In addition, bookmakers gave a high odds of 4.6 for a draw.

The same Lebanese in the first match at home could not do anything with Palestine – 0:0. The Palestinians themselves in Kuwait accepted Australia – and did not lose face: they lost, but minimally, without shame.

This is how the current disposition has developed: Australia, which no one doubted, scored 6 points, Lebanon has only 2 points, and Palestine and Bangladesh so far have one point each. The Bengal Tigers are at the bottom due to the worst goal difference – the mayhem from the Australians is taking its toll.

In March, the Red-Greens have two matches with Palestine – here it will become clear whether they can count on anything. The Arab team is now in the top 100 of the FIFA rankings, and can easily take all six points from Bangladesh. In parallel, Australia will probably do the same with Lebanon, and such a scenario would mean that it is the Australians and Palestinians who are moving on.

To continue the fight, the Bengal Tigers need to rely on a miracle and take not just one, but at least two, or even three points in the confrontation with Palestine. Australia will come to Bangladesh in the fifth round, and they are unlikely to share points, even if by that time they guarantee themselves access to the third stage. Without creating a sensation, the final game with Lebanon could actually turn out to be a friendly, and probably for both teams.

Our forecast

The first place for Bangladesh is a fairy tale that you shouldn’t even dream about, because disappointment is guaranteed. The second position is also unlikely, but this time it is purely theoretically possible to take it, given the loss of points from the main competitors. However, the Bengal Tigers’ passage to the third stage will be a huge sensation, because even superiority over Lebanon (or Palestine) alone will require considerable team effort and luck. 

Photo by Vienna Reyes on Unsplash

Note: Newskarnataka advises its readers to consult experts / professionals and research further on this subject, be aware of the risks involved, and comply with all locally applicable laws and regulations in this regard.

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