• Tuesday, Feb 25, 2020
  • Last Update : 12:27 am

Rafi ready to lead torn defence

  • Published at 09:13 pm January 21st, 2020
Saad
Bangladesh's Saad Uddin runs forward during training in Dhanmondi Tuesday as Rahmat Mia tries to stop him BFF

The suspended Topu Barman and fever-hit Yeasin Khan, the two experienced center-backs for the men in red and green, will be missed by a young defence

Riyadul Hasan Rafi looked extremely serious at Tuesday's training session. 

With a bandage on his forehead covering three stitches, Rafi could not hide his concerns about the teams back line. 

The suspended Topu Barman and fever-hit Yeasin Khan, the two experienced center-backs for the men in red and green, will be missed by a young defence. 

“It makes a difference to not have Topu and Yeasin, but I am not afraid. There is now more responsibility on me, because the senior defenders are ruled out. I have to make a good combination with Bishwanath [Ghosh] and Rahmat [Mia]. We are taking it as a challenge,” said the 21-year-old center-back.

“We have not played against them [Burundi] before, but we watched their two matches. They play with long passes and they have good finishers. We will try our best not to concede and make sure the clearances are good,” added Rafi, who was called up for the second match after Yeasin left the camp with fever.

Burundi trained at the same ground as Bangladesh in the afternoon. 

The squad does not have senior players who compete in different leagues in Europe, Asia and Africa, but they have gathered their top performers from their domestic league. 

In the group stage, youngster Nshimirana Jospin scored four goals after making his debut, while the experienced Tambwe Amissi also netted a spectacular brace.