Bangladesh have achieved their initial target of finishing sixth in the 12-team 18th Asian Games men’s hockey beating Thailand 3-1 in their fourth Pool B match at the Gelora Bung Karno (GBK) hockey field in Jakarta on Sunday.
After the third win in their four matches, Bangladesh not only maintained their all-win record against Thailand, but also got an opportunity to play directly in the final round of the next Asian Games and Asia Cup.
With the day’s feat, Bangladesh achieved their ultimate target beating all the three lower ranked teams — Oman, Thailand and Kazakhstan.
In the remaining Pool B match, Bangladesh will play top-seed Pakistan on Tuesday (Aug 28) at 5:00pm Bangladesh time.
Besides, Bangladesh (world ranked 31), which never lost any match against world number 47 Thailand in competitive hockey, have another chance to battle for the 5th slot in the Asiad Hockey, where they are likely to play Japan.
After a barren result in first two quarters of the day’s match, Mohammad Ashraful Islam, who missed the last game against Malaysia due to injury, struck twice for Bangladesh in the 35th and 41st minutes of the third quarter, both from penalty corners (2-0).
In the fourth last and final quarter, Borirak Harapan scored the first goal for Thailand in the meet to reduce the margin in the 47th minute (2-1) while Mohammad Milon Hossain sealed the fate of the match scoring one more goal in the 55th minute (3-1).
In the day’s other matches, Oman beat Kazakhstan 4-0 in Pool B while Japan outplayed Hong Kong 13-0 and Sri Lanka beat hosts Indonesia 3-1 in Pool A.
After four Pool B matches, Bangladesh were third in the six-team group securing nine points courtesy of three wins while their main opponent Oman were fourth with six points.
Pakistan and Malaysia dominate the Group B, securing full nine points from three matches. They face each other on Sunday evening to decide the group champions.
In Pool A, India and South Korea netted full nine points from three matches while Japan also have nine, but they have played four matches, followed by Sri Lanka with six points from four matches.
Bangladesh beat arch-rivals Oman 2-1 and outplayed Kazakhstan 6-1 before losing 0-7 to Malaysia in the third match.