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Mamunul: We should at least reach Saff semis

  • Published at 01:20 pm April 19th, 2018
Mamunul: We should at least reach Saff semis
Bangladesh footballer Mamunul Islam said they should at least target the semi-final after the draw ceremony of the Saff Championship 2018 was held in Dhaka Wednesday. The men in red and green were grouped together with Nepal, Pakistan and Bhutan in Pool A while seven-time winner India, Maldives and Sri Lanka were drawn in Pool B. The regional tournament will be hosted by Bangladesh from September 4-15. This is the third time Bangladesh will be hosting the Saff Championship after 2003 and 2009 where the home side emerged as the champion and semi-finalist respectively. "We are the home side so we will have extra advantage. I think we should reach the semi-final at the very least. In order for that to happen, we must win our first match. If that happens, the team will be boosted. And we can reach the last four if we win two games. If luck favours us, we can advance to the final and taste success," said Mamunul.

Also read: Bangladesh drawn with Nepal, Pakistan and Bhutan in Saff Championship

Mamunul has taken part in five Saff tournaments but is yet to clinch the title. "Whether I'm in the side or not, we should target the title at our backyard. We have the ability. There are many new players in the side. We can taste success if we are able to form a good squad," Mamunul explained. Bangladesh will take on Bhutan in the second match of the opening day, with one eye on revenge. The men in red and green conceded a listless 3-1 defeat against Bhutan two years ago in the Asian Cup Qualifiers but Mamunul believes they have what it takes to get the better of the opposition in their opening game. "Accidents don't happen every time. Brazil suffered a 7-1 loss against Germany. That only happened once. It won't happen everytime. I believe we have the ability to beat Bhutan. But we have to start our preparation straightaway," Mamunul concluded.