Bangladesh will take heart from their recent win over Maldives in the Saff U-19 Championship when the two teams face each other in the 2018 AFC U-19 Championship Qualifiers in Hisor, Tajikistan Thursday.
The junior Bengal Tigers will be confident of attaining three points against Maldives after holding host and favourite Tajikistan to a goalless draw in their opening match of the Qualifiers Tuesday.
On the eve of the clash, Bangladesh captain Tutul Hossain Badshah said, "We now have more confidence after a good result against host Tajikistan. We also beat Maldives 2-0 in the Saff U-19 Championship in Bhutan. We will draw experience from that game in the next match. We all are doing okay. The only problem we have faced so far is the cold weather and windy condition."
Bangladesh U-19's England-born Australian coach Andrew Ord, who also happens to be the head coach of the senior men's side, praised his charges ahead of the Maldives tie.
He said, "I was very impressed with the performance of the team in the first half (against Tajikistan). The players pressed strongly and forced Tajikistan to do lots of mistakes. In the second half we were under a lot of pressure ourselves and it was great to see the improved mentality and resilience to keep a clean sheet. I am looking forward to seeing if the players can keep this strong mentality and put in a professional performance against Maldives."
Bangladesh will take on Uzbekistan and Sri Lanka in their last two group stage matches Monday and Wednesday respectively.
The teams are vying for the 14 berths still up for grabs in the tournament.
China, who won Group G in Phnom Penh last week, have already sealed qualification.
The 10 group winners and five best second-placed teams advance to the finals alongside host Indonesia.
Kyrgyzstan v Oman
Nepal v Bahrain
Sri Lanka v Uzbekistan
Maldives v Bangladesh
Indonesia v Timor Leste
Brunei v South Korea