If you have watched a few popular football movies, you know where this story is heading. This is the story of The Bengal Tigers: a Bangladeshi football team from Houston.
The Bangladeshi Students Association at the University of Houston, USA, was born in 2012. Not only does this association hold regular activities that keeps the green and red flying, they also promote Bangladeshi football through the team that they have recently formed: The Bengal Tigers. While the name of the team may not be the most original one out there, their story certainly is.
Every year, University of Houston is home to the Outdoor Soccer Intramurals. As a new organisation in a country abroad, BSA struggled to attract players. After a lot of effort, they finally had a full squad together. The dedication of the players and members is a testament to how far they have come as an organization. This tournament had 25 teams from Africa, Middle East, India, China and different parts of the world, which made it even harder but all the more full of pride to be able to represent Bangladesh to the rest of the world.
The team remained undefeated and won the final in a dramatic Plaantik shootout! With no goals in a game dominated by the Tigers, it all depended on the takers and stoppers and the Tigers prevailed followed by jubilant celebrations. Winning the tournament also had a certain feeling of comradeship. The players in the team were once heavily involved in the Dhaka football scene. There were players from all over the place – Aga Khan, Scholastica, Mastermind, St. Joseph, South Breeze, Dhanmondi Tutorial, NSU and the list could go on. This certainly helped in the bonding of the team as they all utilized the similar experience they had gained from the UG and school football scene in Dhaka.
From having no proper team, to finally getting a full squad and then having a go at registering at the Intramurals tournament – it took a lot of guts. And then to win it was the stuff of dreams with the perfect Hollywood ending. Congratulations to the Bengal Tigers!
The Bengal Tigers Squad:
Rasheed Haque (C), Dewan Sayeed (VC and GK), Shium Rahman, Rabib Haider, Farshid Zaman, Ahmed Tahsin, Shabab Rahman, Saif A. Naveed
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