The men in red and green will take on their south Asian neighbor in the first international friendly at Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka Sunday at 7pm
Bangladesh are eager to claim wins in the two preparation matches against Bhutan, and boost their confidence ahead of the 2022 World Cup and 2023 Asian Cup qualifiers against Qatar and India.
The men in red and green will take on their south Asian neighbor in the first international friendly at Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka Sunday at 7pm.
After losing to Afghanistan in the opening Group E qualifier on September 10, Bangladesh moved down five places to 187th in the latest Fifa ranking, while Bhutan, who failed to move through to the qualifiers, remained 185th without playing any game.
When Bangladesh are preparing for the bigger tests against Qatar and India, scheduled for October 10 and 15 respectively, Bhutan are trying to build a team for December’s South Asian Games in Nepal which saw them bring in around 10 new faces aged below 23.
During the pre-match press conference at BFF House in the capital Saturday, both English head coach Jamie Day and captain Jamal Bhuiyan are determined to win the friendly, move up in the ranking and gain confidence before the qualifiers.
“I want to win both the games. It would not be easy but if we do, it will give confidence to the boys before the qualifiers. It’s also a good opportunity for us to get some Fifa ranking points.” said Day, before warning his players to perform well or miss out on the second friendly Thursday.
It will be different game and different tactics, compared to how Bangladesh played Afghanistan.
“We need to take care of the ball better than what we have done previously. We want to pass the ball better and quicker, create few more chances, keep clean sheet and that’s what I’ll be looking forward (against Bhutan),” said Day.
Bhuiyan sounded more confident.
“We want to win the two games because we have a big, big game against Qatar. If we win, we will move up in the ranking, and also boost our performance for the games against Qatar and India,” said Bhuiyan.
Along with Masuk Mia Jony, who is ruled out for more than six months, Day will also miss the services of defender Tutul Hossain Badshah, who suffered a motorcycle accident before joining the camp.
Badshah cut his knee and is also uncertain for the second friendly.
The 42-year old gave an exclusive interview to @DhakaTribune where he elucidated how a newly-formed squad won double silverware in debut season, and about the Bangladesh team, which he believes have the potential to be among Asia’s top 100.https://t.co/Jn1zBieKrl#BRUZON #BFF— Dhaka Tribune Sports (@Sport_DT) September 27, 2019
Sohel Rana is likely to replace Jony in midfield while Riyadul Hasan or Manjurur Rahman will partner Yeasin Khan at center-back.
Bhutan head coach Pema informed that they have had four days of preparation back at home.
“The first round of Bhutan League just finished and I selected players from there. There are 10-11 new faces and most of them are U-23 players because our focus is on the SA Games.”
The 23-year old Bhutan captain Chencho Gyeltshen is a familiar face to Bangladesh.
The forward played for Chittagong Abahani Limited three years ago before moving to I-League outfits Minerva Punjab and Bengaluru.
He said, “Most of the players are new and young but they are energetic and I’m confident they will give their best.”
The two sides faced each other during the Saff Championship 2018 where Bangladesh outplayed Bhutan 2-0.