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Dhaka Tribune

Men in red and green off to Oman

Booters join 10-day camp before joint World Cup and Asian Cup qualifier on November 14

Update : 02 Nov 2019, 09:05 PM

Bangladesh football has seen a rare upsurge in recent times with some inspiring shows from the national side and the men in red and green will be keen to keep it up as they are set to leave for Oman Sunday night for a 10-day training camp, followed by their World Cup and Asian Cup joint qualifying fixture against the home side on November 14.

Bangladesh are currently at the bottom of Group E with a solitary point but the mere points table will be unable to show the performance of the bottom ranked side in the group that held India with a commendable performance in their away fixture after fighting with the Asian champion Qatar at home where they eventually lost 2-0.

Even in their first assignment in this stage, they proved their doggedness when they lost to Afghanistan at neutral venue Dushanbe in Tajikistan by a single goal, and their British coach Jamie Day must be credited for injecting huge self-belief to the side. 

The confidence has risen so much that they now dare to get some good results against a powerful Oman side in the away fixture in the tough desert conditions. 

“Oman are way ahead of us in Fifa ranking. But we expect to perform the way we performed against Qatar and India. If we don’t concede early goals, the game will be competitive,” team manager Satyajit Das Rupu told journalists at a press conference at Bangladesh Football Federation House in Dhaka Saturday.

The team will leave Saturday night while the foreign coaching staff, including Day who is currently enjoying his holiday in the USA, will join the team Monday morning.

Their inspiring captain Jamal Bhuiyan will also join them later. 

Jamal, who is currently in Barcelona, Spain for his commentary service at LaLiga, will join his charges after analyzing the match between Barcelona and Levante, while young defender Yeasin Arafat will arrive at the camp on November 11 following his AFC U-19 Qualifiers campaign in Bahrain.

There is only change to the squad from the match against India, with Rahmatganj MFS midfielder Rakib Hossain replacing Abahani Limited’s Jewel Rana.

Most of the players of the squad  were busy recently as they played for Bashundhara Kings and Chittagong Abahani Limited in the Sheikh Kamal International Club Cup and they will train together tomorrow for the first time since their heroic 1-1 draw in front of the 70,000-crowd at Salt Lake in Kolkata on October 15. 

 “Oman will be a very difficult prospect for us. But with the belief we gained from the match against India, we will be full of confidence. We will not go there to return with a defeat,” first-choice goalkeeper Ashraful Islam Rana said, adding that during the rest days the players followed fitness regime and diet according to the coach’s prescription.

Assistant coach Masud Parvez Kaiser believes the Oman challenge will be stiffer than that of Qatar but also assured they will try to improve on their weaknesses by working hard. 

“The match against Oman will be tougher than the one against Qatar as we will play away to Oman. They are one of the two best teams in the group. But we will work on set-pieces and finishing in the training sessions as these areas have troubled us,” said Kaiser.

The team are supposed to play a warm-up match next Saturday against a top Omani club as part of their preparation.

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