• Tuesday, Oct 15, 2019
  • Last Update : 03:14 pm

U-16 girls face Japan test Wednesday

  • Published at 06:56 pm September 17th, 2019
U-16
Bangladesh U-16 women's football team during a training session in Thailand Tuesday BFF

The girls in red and green kicked off their campaign with a narrow 1-0 defeat against Thailand Sunday where they ended up squandering a series of chances, while Japan also suffered a surprising goalless draw against Australia in their opening tie the same day

Bangladesh girls will face their toughest test yet in the AFC U-16 Women’s Championship 2019 when they take on three-time champion and favorite Japan in their second Group A match at IPE Chonburi Stadium Wednesday at 3pm, Bangladesh standard time.

The girls in red and green kicked off their campaign with a narrow 1-0 defeat against Thailand Sunday where they ended up squandering a series of chances, while Japan also suffered a surprising goalless draw against Australia in their opening tie the same day.

The two sides faced each other during the last edition of the competition where Bangladesh made their debut.

Japan cruised to a comfortable 3-0 victory riding on three early goals. 

Another defeat would send Bangladesh out of the event with a game in hand, while a point or better will keep them in contention.

Bangladesh are now more experienced with as many as 11 players from the previous edition participating in the tournament, and these players are the backbone of the squad, as was evident during the three practice matches.

The injury concern of captain and midfielder Maria Manda and forward Tohura Khatun gave a little bit of worry to head coach Golam Rabbani Choton as the national team duo complained of some muscle soreness.

“This is a big tournament and our girls are developing a lot,” Choton was quoted as saying by the AFC.

“For the next game, we will try not to repeat the same mistakes we made against Thailand.

“Two years ago, that team had less experience, because we didn’t play a lot of international matches, but this time around, they have that experience, that includes AFC and Saff tournaments.”

Vice-captain Akhi Khatun also offered a positive perspective, saying, “We will execute our game, concentrate throughout and play with our Bangladesh passion.”

Japan head coach Michihisa Kano is comfortable with his team’s progress, despite missing out on an opening day win. 

Nicknamed the Little Nadeshiko, Japan girls enjoyed a goalfest in several of their pre-tournament fixtures.

“The game against Australia was the first game of an AFC tournament and an official game, so the players were a bit nervous and had to adjust to that kind of situation,” said Kano. 

“For the next game, we need to remember our concept, which is to play aggressively and from the front, and we can improve the quality of our performance.”

Bangladesh will conclude their group stage fixtures against Australia Saturday.