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U-16 girls begin AFC mission Sunday

  • Published at 08:53 pm September 14th, 2019
BFF
Bangladesh U-16 women's football team pose for photographs in Thailand Thursday BFF

Two of the eight teams participating in this tournament will go through to the U-17 Women’s World Cup, to be held in India in 2020

Bangladesh U-16 women’s football team will take on host Thailand Sunday in their first match of the final round of the AFC U-16 Women's Championship 2019 at Chonburi Stadium in Thailand.

Two of the eight teams participating in this tournament will go through to the U-17 Women’s World Cup, to be held in India in 2020.

The teams are divided into two groups. 

Bangladesh are pooled in Group A, where they will play against the home side, Japan and Australia. 

In Group B, North Korea, South Korea, China and Vietnam will play each other for the top spot.

Bangladesh have participated in this tournament once before.

In 2017, even though the inexperienced girls lost all the matches, they exhibited good performances against strong teams like Japan and Australia. 

The girls are more prepared this time around. 

Bangladesh head coach Golam Rabbani Choton is confident in his team ahead of the Thailand challenge. 

He said, “We will face Thailand. As host, they will have a few things in their favor. But our girls have the experience of playing in such adverse conditions in Bhutan and Myanmar. I think the girls will adjust well and play a competitive match. We wish to come back home with a positive result.”

Maria Manda, the captain of the side, also expressed desire to get a positive result, saying, “[Sunday] is our first match. We have trained well here, and played three friendly matches. We will give our 100%. We will fight against them, and try our best to get a good result.”

Choton admitted that the teams Bangladesh will face are strong, but emphasized on the experience the Bangladeshi girls have gained over the last two years. 

“We all know that this is a difficult tournament. All the strong teams in Asia participate in this tournament. We are taking part in this tournament for the second time, which in itself is an achievement. Our girls have been practicing for the last two years, and they have played the first round in Dhaka really well to become champion. The second round in Myanmar was hard, but they successfully qualified for the final round. Since coming back from Myanmar, girls have trained hard for six months, and we have played quite a few matches with our senior teams in this period,” he said.

Choton also mentioned the three practice matches that the girls have played in Thailand, saying, “We came to Thailand on September 5 and played three practice matches. We have won two practice matches against Chonburi U-17 girls comfortably. In the other match, we fought well against Kasato University girls. After these three matches, I think the girls have adjusted well to the weather and condition, and their confidence has increased as well.”

In the first round of this qualifiers tournament, Bangladesh dominated in Dhaka and comfortably topped Group F, winning all their matches. 

In the second round, Bangladesh became the runners-up of Group B, behind China, and qualified for the final round.

Meanwhile, Japan and Australia will compete in the opening match of the tournament at Chonburi Stadium.