Maruful Haque and Jamal Bhuiyan represented then Bangladesh Premier League champion Lt. Sheikh Jamal DC in the King’s Cup in Bhutan in 2014 where en route to clinching the title, they defeated Mohun Bagan 5-3 in the group stage
The country’s only Uefa-A licensed coach Maruful Haque and Bangladesh captain Jamal Bhuiyan will be up against traditional West Bengal outfit Mohun Bagan AC after five years, albeit representing a different team, in a different tournament.
With a couple of wins in a row, host Chittagong Abahani Limited will be favorite when they play Bagan in their final Group A match at MA Aziz Stadium Friday at 7pm.
Maruful and Jamal represented then Bangladesh Premier League champion Lt. Sheikh Jamal DC in the King’s Cup in Bhutan in 2014 where en route to clinching the title, they defeated Bagan 5-3 in the group stage.
“I don’t see much difference between the current squad and the last team of Mohun Bagan we faced before, but 2016’s Bagan had better fitness levels and they also had players like Sony Norde,” Maruful told reporters Thursday.
Young Elephants and TC Sports Club take on each other in the first match of the day from the same group and if the game ends in a draw or TC Sports win, Chittagong Abahani will go through to semi-finals regardless of their result against Bagan.
Jamal Bhuiyan has not had a rest since the national training camp began before the @FIFAWorldCup and Asian Cup qualifiers against Qatar and India at the end of last month.https://t.co/zimh747rE7#JAMALBHUIYAN #JAMAL #BHUIYAN #BANGLADESH #FOOTBALL #BANGLADESHFOOTBALL #BFF #FIFA— Dhaka Tribune Sports (@Sport_DT) October 24, 2019
Maruful hinted of giving much-needed rest to the national players who have been in continuous action and training in the past one month.
2010 Ghanaian World Cupper Prince Tagoe, who joined the team just a day before the tournament, will not be fit enough to make his first start.
The only Bangladeshi coach among the eight clubs in the tournament, Maruful changed Jamal’s playing position to attacking midfield in the second half against Young Elephants and the captain scored a goal but the coach denied saying whether he would field Jamal in the same role.
A tired Jamal, however, said, “We will analyze their match video and will see how they play. I want to be group champion and I want the Indians out of the tournament, which will be a good motivation. Everybody is motivated for the next game.”
Chittagong Abahani beat TC Sports 4-1 in the first match before outplaying Young Elephants 4-2 in the next, while Bagan started with a 2-1 defeat against Elephants before beating TC Sports 2-0.