Bangladesh girls are determined to give the country a reason to celebrate when they take on India in the much-awaited final of the Saff U-15 Women's Championship, scheduled to kick off at Birsreshtha Shaheed Sepahi Mustafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur, Dhaka Sunday at 2pm.
Bangladesh Television World and Bangla Television will telecast it live while Somoy Television will show the game live in their Youtube channel.
There will be no ticket required to enter the gallery which will be kept open for the spectators in order to inspire the home girls. Both Bangladesh head coach Golam Rabbani Choton and captain Maria Manda urged the home fans to support them from the venue and restated their promise of offering entertaining football.
The entire Bangladesh team expressed optimism of winning their first ever Saff women's football title prior to the tournament and have done their job accordingly, registering dominant wins in all their three group stage matches, scoring a total of 12 goals and conceding none.
The comfortable 3-0 win against India in their previous game gave the host a lot of confidence ahead of the grand finale. In that match, Choton rested three key attackers – Marzia Akter, Anuching Mogini and Tohura Khatun - and all of them are ready and fit for the final.
Choton informed of only one injury in the squad. Sajeda Khatun, who made her first starting XI appearance Thursday against India, is unlikely to be fit for the final due to knee injury but the coach has full faith with the available options on the bench, mentioning Rituporna Chakma and Shamsunnahar Jr's impact in the last game.
The host are the only side in the competition who are yet to concede a goal and Choton said he set the goalkeeper and the defenders the target of keeping a clean-sheet in the final as well. But India head coach Maymol Rocky hinted a different and “all out” performance from her side during the pre-final press conference at BFF House in Motijheel Saturday.
"We will go all out," said the India coach. She added, "It’s a new day for us. It’s the final. Especially, we all are waiting for that day. The girls are really excited to play the final, they know they will go for the gold or silver. We are preparing for that."
Choton however, warned his charges to keep their feet firmly on the ground, saying, "(Friday) we gave full rest to the players for recovery. [Saturday] we had light warm-up." Choton continued, "After the win against India, we reminded the girls not to be over-confident and focus on the commitment of achieving their target of winning the title."
Bangladesh senior women's team have never won the Saff Championship. The senior men's football team won the regional title more than a decade ago in 2003. The young Bangladesh boys also won the Saff U-15 Championship title last year.
Choton concluded, "Saff Championship is a big inspiration for the girls. They reached the South Asian Games football final in Siliguri last year but lost the final against the host, despite playing positive football. India are south Asia's football giant but we are confident this time around."
Maria said, “Both the teams are strong. However, we will give all our effort to open the scoring in the first 15 minutes.”