Bangladesh were hardly known for creating furore on the international football stage. They had only recently been allowed to take part in World Cup qualifications, and their inaugural attempt, at reaching Mexico ’86, had ended with an expected exit at the first hurdle, although they had actually won two of their six first phase group stage matches. They had even been the solitary team in the group stage to overcome winners Indonesia. This current qualifying campaign was obviously their only second ever participation at FIFA level. 

The relatively young nation had only taken part in Asian Cup qualification for the very first time ahead of the 1976 tournament in Iran, which they had failed to reach. However, they had succeeded in qualifying for the 1980 games in Kuwait, where they had lost all four of their matches with an aggregate score of 2-17. This remained their solitary international tournament appearance by the start of the 1990 World Cup qualification. 

A gentleman by the name of Pran Gabinda Kundu was going to manage them through the competition. It appears likely that he was just a short term solution. He had succeeded Kaza Salahuddin, who had overseen their qualification matches for the December 1988 edition of the Asian Cup, and following in Kundu’s footsteps would be former Iran international Nasser Hejazi, who at this point was making a name for himself as manager for Bangladesh’ leading club team Mohammedan. 

With China and Iran expected to battle it out over the group’s top berth, success for Bangladesh would be avoiding finishing last. 

World Cup appearances:

Pran Gabinda Kundu


Qualifier 1
19.02.89: Thailand 1-0 Bangladesh
Line-up: Mohsin – 

Qualifier 2
23.02.89: China 2-0 Bangladesh
Line-up: Mohsin – 

Qualifier 3
27.02.89: Bangladesh 1-2 Iran
Goal: Aslam
Line-up: Kanan –  

Qualifier 4
04.03.89: Bangladesh 0-2 China
Line-up: Mohsin – 

Qualifier 5
08.03.89: Bangladesh 3-1 Thailand
Goals: Iqbal, Sabbir, Dasrepu
Line-up: Mohsin – 

Qualifier 6
17.03.89: Iran 1-0 Bangladesh
Line-up (4-4-2): Mohsin – Munna, Kaisar (c),