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Bangladesh rally to hold Uzbekistan

September 16, 2003 21:43 IST

In a dramatic turn of events, Bangladesh came from behind to hold Uzbekistan 3-3 in the sixth match of the four-nation under-19 JRD Tata Cup international football tournament in Jamshedpur on Tuesday.

Despite a good start, Bangladesh trailed 0-2 in the first half.

The Uzbeks drew first blood through skipper Sobir Usmankhoajaev's goal in the 32nd minute. They increased the margin seven minutes later, when striker Shakheboz Erkinov sent a powerful header inside the net, leaving the Bangladesh goalkeeper stranded.

Uzbekistan, leading 2-0 at the lemon break, intensified their attack in the second half, but their game was badly hampered by the slippery ground conditions as well as water-logging at some spots near the rival goal area.

Taking advantage of the soggy condtions, Bangladesh regrouped and gained ascendancy but their poor defence helped the Uzbeks score again in the 64th minute. Forward Shakhboz Umarov returned a cross inside the box after receiving a pass from the right flank and the alert Abbos Abulayev, who substituted Timur Kagirov just after the breather, converted.

But the Bangladesh boys did not give in and stormed the rival citadel in the last quarter of the match in an attempt to at least reduce the margin. They were successful in the 77th minute when their captain Mohd. Jahid Hussain Ameli's header beat the Uzbek custodian - 1-3.

The rejuvenated Bangla players immediately seemed to find their rhythm and struck twice within nine minutes when striker Anamol Hoque (78th minute) and mid-fielder Malay Burman scored to earn a creditable 3-3 draw and send the small crowd into a frenzy.

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