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Legends of Bangladesh visit East End

Mile End Stadium hosts football showdown

Sonali Othith UK 1-2 Sonali Othith Bangladesh

Emdad Rahman

A game between Bangladeshi veterans on a rainy night in Mile End Stadium may not be most people’s idea of a glamour game, but plenty turned out to watch the visiting golden oldies turn in a match winning performance.

Sonali Othith Bangladesh are currently visiting the UK as part of a four game tour. With high winds, rain and the winter air in full effect, many locals thought it would simply be a case of turning up as the visitors from the warmer climes would be expected to struggle to cope with the harsh British elements.

Sonali Othith Bangladesh started off looking to hit their hosts on the break. It was a wise tactical move by Nasir Ahmed’s men, as they raced into a two goal lead through Mohammad Aslam and Mohammad Arman. Sonali Othith UK rallied and, buoyed by the home support, the local veterans stepped up the pace. But their opponents were resilient throughout – stifling creativity through the deployment of Arman as a holding midfielder. Aslam’s energy up front also caused the Sonali Othith rearguard countless problems.

The second half tactics remained consistent as both teams played cat and mouse. In the 89th minute. Rahoul’s lofted free kick was struck home by Ferdous Alam for a consolation goal for Sonali Othith UK.

“I’m proud of my team,” said Sonali Othith Bangladesh head coach Nasir Ahmed. “We were given a very good workout by our opponents and are very impressed by the standards we met today. Football unites communities and it is this very reason why we have travelled such distances. Thank you to the British public for the amazing welcome.”

Captain Mohamad Aslam said: “I have played football for decades and I’m grateful for the very nice people I have met through playing the beautiful game. I would also like to thank the fans who braved the weather and came to support both teams.”

“We failed to gel tonight,” said Sonali Othith UK captain Runu Miah. “Our opponents played a measured game designed to stifle our attacking instincts. The tactics worked to a tee and by the time we got warmed up it was too late.”

Midfielder Hamid Yusuf added: “Despite the disappointing result the game was a great spectacle and an advert for football in general. I’m proud that we are hosting some of Bangladesh’s great footballers and look forward to conducting further football programmes in the future.”

Sonali Othith UK are hosting a gala dinner night on Monday 21st October at the Dhaka Regency, 501 High Street North, London E7 9HA. To attend, please contact Faruque Mahfuz Ahmed on 07956-972 328.

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