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Bangladesh face Uzbekistan in Asian Games

  • Published at 10:21 pm August 13th, 2018

The game will kick-off at the Pakansari Stadium in Bogor, a city in West Java province, at 3pm

Bangladesh’s Asian Games 2018 campaign begins four days before the inauguration of Asia’s biggest event with the national Olympic (U-23) football team facing a strong Uzbekistan side in the opening Group B encounter in Indonesia on Tuesday.

The game will kick-off at the Pakansari Stadium in Bogor, a city in West Java province, at 3pm.

As the Men in Red and Green set their sights on the Saff Championship in Dhaka which begins in three weeks time, the three group matches in Indonesia against three strong sides would give the head coach Jamie Day a clearer idea about his young side’s potential.

There are only three senior members in the team which includes captain and midfielder Jamal Bhuiyan, goalkeeper Ashraful Islam Rana and defender Topu Barman.

Uzbekistan is not new opponents for Bangladesh and there are bitter memories from past encounters against the middle-eastern country. Bangladesh lost 3-0 against them in the second group match of the last edition in Incheon 2014 after bagging a notable win against Afghanistan in the previous game.

The national team has been in an intense training camp since February 13 and most of the current U-23 players involved in it from the beginning. It is perhaps Bangladesh’s longest ever training camp that they have had before the games. There were also training camps twice in Qatar and once in South Korea recently and that did not happen in previous occasions.

As a result, the expectation from the team is a bit more. Team manager Satyajit Das Rupu said, “The team worked really hard in the last few months. They now have the physical fitness and the mental ability to fight. They are getting ready. Winning is not the most important thing but to execute what they have learned so far is.”

Bangladesh, meanwhile, was placed in Group B of the 24-nation football event with Thailand, Uzbekistan and Qatar. They play Thailand on August 16 at the same venue and Qatar on August 19 at the Patriot Stadium in Bekasi.  

The football competition was the first event to start on August 10 while Bangladesh football team reached Indonesia on Saturday from South Korea after a two-week camp and three practice matches.