A win against another higher ranked Maldives will boost Bangladesh's chances to reach the final
Bangladesh have made a good start in the Saff Championship picking up four points from two matches, but team management thinks every group stage game is important and the next one against Maldives is as vital as final for the side.
The ongoing five-team tournament has been arranged with a single round robin stage where teams will meet each other once and the best two will qualify for final.
Bangladesh won against lowest ranked Sri Lanka by a solitary goal and held strong India 1-1, and a win against another higher ranked side Maldives will boost their chances to reach the final.
“I think every match in this tournament is like final. If you lose points, it will be tough to come back. And I inspire goalkeepers by saying them - give your best, it may be the last game of your life,” said Bangladesh’s goalkeeping coach Nuruzzaman Nayan through a video message sent by Bangladesh Football Federation to media Tuesday.
Bangladesh made a remarkable comeback against India, who are 82 steps ahead in Fifa ranking, as they scored the equalizer in the 73rd minute despite losing Bishwanath Ghosh in the 57th minute to a red card.
“I am grateful to Allah. The way we fought with 10 men was remarkable. We had the backing of 17-18 crore people and players could utilize the spirit,” said Nayan ahead of the game against Maldives, who are 29 steps above Bangladesh in the ranking.
Bangladesh are carrying three goalkeepers - Anisur Rahman Zico, Shahidul Alam Sohel and Ashraful Islam Rana - in the squad.
Nayan applauded Zico, who was under the post in the first two games, for his good saves against India.
“I am pleased that we have three good goalkeepers and they have make good teamwork. Whoever plays other two support well. Zico made two-three great saves against India, I thank him specially. I thing drawing against India was a turning point,” said Nayan.