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Bangladesh booters eye Asiad football knockouts

  • Published at 10:38 pm August 18th, 2018
Bangladesh U-23 football team pose for photographs prior to their Asian Games match against Uzbekistan in Bogor Tuesday BFF

Both Jamie Day and team manager Satyajit Das Rupu hinted that there would unlikely be any changes in the starting XI

Bangladesh Olympic team are determined to qualify for the knockout stage of the Asian Games for the first time ever against a higher-ranked Qatar side at Patriot Chandrabhaga Stadium in Bekasi Sunday at 6pm, Bangladesh Standard Time.

Both the sides have won one and drew as many, against Uzbekistan and Thailand respectively, in their opening two matches. Uzbekistan already ensured top place from Group B against whom Bangladesh conceded three goals and Qatar six.

With the top two finishers making it to the next round, Bangladesh have a better chance in terms of goal difference but English head coach Jamie Day wants his charges to qualify with a win. He did however, warn his side not to take the opponent lightly.

Bangladesh were more busy in dealing with the Uzbekistan attacks in their first game. More chances were created but less were availed during the draw against Thailand in the second game.

But things could improve against Qatar, that's what has been assumed after seeing the confidence of the players at the team hotel following their yesterday’s lone training session at Brazil Soccer School Ground in Bekasi.

More focus was given on improving the finishing touches during training. A lot of work was done on the set pieces, and the combination of the attacking front as well. 

Assistant coach Mahbub Hossain Roksy informed that they also worked on Qatar’s team formation and how they can deal with the opposition’s attack and defence accordingly.

Both Day and team manager Satyajit Das Rupu hinted that there would unlikely be any changes in the starting XI. Bangladesh may go with a more attacking approach today evening as well.

Day told Dhaka Tribune, “The game plan would be the same as the other two matches and hopefully we can get the points required to get us through, which would be a massive achievement.”

Qatar, who will host and play in the 2022 Fifa World Cup, was not promising enough in their first two games, which is why Jamal Bhuiyan and Co are hopeful of replicating Bangladesh U-16 team's 2-0 win away to Qatar two years ago.

Goalkeeper Ashraful Islam Rana, senior team defender Nasir Uddin Chowdhury and striker Shakhawat Hossain Rony also seemed confident of Bangladesh's chances while talking at the lobby of the team hotel.

“We will definitely get our chances [Sunday],” said captain Jamal. 

He added, “The strategy is to keep them away from our goal and don’t rush, don’t panic because we will have our chances. When we get the chances we have to utilise them. If we keep our shape like the last games, we have a real chance.”

The midfielder concluded, “We have never qualified for the knockout stage of the Asian Games before. So it’s a big game for not only us, but also Bangladesh.”