• Monday, Oct 25, 2021
  • Last Update : 07:57 pm

New goalkeeper, striker for first friendly?

  • Published at 08:43 pm November 12th, 2020
Bangladesh coach Jamie Day briefs the media in Dhaka BFF

Day hinted of giving opportunity to the debutants while replying to a query of scoring problem in the team during the pre-match presser

Uttar Baridhara Club’s Sumon Reza and Police FC’s Mathew S Bablu were called up to the final squad of the Bangladesh national football team for the first time, and one of them, or both strikers can make their international debut Friday.

Ashraful Islam Rana, the first-choice goalkeeper in the last two years, has been surprisingly kept out from the 23-man squad for the first Fifa friendly against Nepal.

Shahidul Alam Sohel and Anisur Rahman Zico are the only two goalkeepers in the squad which was cut short from 32 players in the ongoing practice camp. 

Young goalkeeper Pappu Hossain is, among others, ruled out from the first friendly.

Zico played only once for the national team during one of two friendlies held against Bhutan October 3, last year but his recent performance makes him the favorite for the vacant post. 

He shone brightly for the club while representing premier league champion Bashundhara Kings in their debut at the AFC Cup 2020 in March with three penalty saves.

Head coach Jamie Day said Rana’s exclusion is only for the first friendly to give others chance.

Bangladesh football team head coach Jamie Day expressed satisfaction on the eve of their first of two Fifa friendlies against Nepal, scheduled to be held Friday at Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka.

Posted by Sports Tribune on Thursday, 12 November 2020

“As it is friendly, we have decided to look at other players to see if they can cope with the frame in the national team. Rana is not involved for the first game but will be involved in the next game,” said Day.

There might as well be changes in the attacking line-up too in the absence of forward Matin Mia. 

Winger Arifur Rahman was also ruled out due to injury which paved the way for Sumon and Bablu, who were first called up to the preliminary camp in August before the World Cup and Asian Cup joint qualifying fixtures got postponed.

Day also hinted of giving opportunity to the debutants while replying to a query of scoring problem in the team during the pre-match press conference. 

“We have some new players coming to the squad, hopefully they will get chance and they can play well for themselves and the national team,” said the English coach.

“Defensively we have been quite good. For us next year our target is we have to score more goals. We have to take our chances. We have to be better in front of goal. We have to start working hard and that starts (Friday). There could be one or two players who have not played for national team before.”

Nabib Newaj Jibon is the first-choice striker in the team but his position for club often switched to No 9 at Abahani Limited and occasionally for the national team under Day.

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