Bangladesh’s young booters will face probably their toughest test in the 2nd Saff U-16 Championship when they take on host Nepal in the first semi-final at the Dashrath Stadium in Kathmandu today.
Bangladesh reached the semi-final as group B runners-up. Their only win in the group stage was against Sri Lanka, while Nepal emerged as the group A champions by thrashing Bhutan 7-0 and Pakistan 3-0.
Bangladesh coach Rene Koster is well aware of the quality of his opponents but insisted that his boys would be as competitive as possible. “We will do our best. We will fight and play like tigers. We don’t have quality players like like Nepal, India and Afghanistan have, but we are ready for the match,” Rene was quoted as saying by goalnepal.com.
“Our strong point is that we are not afraid against Nepal. My players will learn a lot from this championship. We are racing up quality of my players. They will enjoy the match,” he added.
Nepal’s forward line has so far been its biggest strength. Bimal Gharti Magar is the leading scorer in the tournament with five goals and his partner, Hemant Thapa is just one behind. Bimal has already made his debut for the national side at the age of 15, and Koster said of the striker, “He is unbelievable.”
India will play Afghanistan in the second semi-final tomorrow.