Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Draw against India in SAFF boost for Bangladesh

Bangladesh national football team is beaming with confidence after their morale-boosting 1-1 draw against tournament favourites India in their 2021 SAFF Championship league phase match at the National Football Stadium in Maldives, Male on Monday.
The draw was even sweeter for Oscar Bruzon’s charges as they did it with 10-man and a goal down.
Bangladesh started their campaign in the five-nation tournament with a solitary goal victory against Sri Lanka on October 1 before the draw against seven-time champions India, who are 82 places ahead of Bangladesh in FIFA rankings.
Bruzon’s charges remain unbeaten and are in second place of the table with four points, two points behind table toppers Nepal, who beat Sri Lanka 3-2 on Monday after a 1-0 win against hosts and defending champions Maldives in their first match.
With one point, India are placed third ahead of Maldives as both played one match each while Sri Lanka are unofficially out of the race to the final with two losses.
With the draw against India, the men in red and green have now started to believe that they could go further in the tournament.
Their next two games are against Maldives and Nepal respectively on October 7 and 13 at the same venue.
Against Sri Lanka and India, defenders Topu Barman and Yeasin Arafat scored one goal each. Bangladesh forward Matin Mia said that the team’s strikers are inspired by the defenders contribution in the first two matches and are keen to take up the goal-scoring onus from the next game.
‘The results are a huge boost and it has increased my confidence level. Goals from defenders are inspiring for us [forwards]. They did it in the last two games, now it’s our time to show that we can do it too,’ said Matin after Tuesday’s training session at the Henveiru Training Pitch in Male.
Bangladesh will miss the services of two defenders against the Maldives — Bishwanath Ghosh, who got a red card in the 54th minute against India, and Razaul Karim, who is suffering from fever.
Meanwhile, Bruzon, who has been given the national team’s charges for this tournament in place of English coach Jamie Day, seemed overjoyed in his comments after the hard fought draw on Monday.
‘I want to say that Bangladesh football is alive, so let’s go and get more points from the tournament…We believe in our players and our country…We are going to play a very tough opponent, the Maldives, in the next match,’ said Bruzon in the post-match press conference.
‘We said before that every problem we have should make us stronger and that’s what I am trying to communicate [to the players], that we are an unbeatable force when we play with one mind,’ continued Bruzon.
Indian coach Igor Stimac congratulated Bangladesh for the draw terming the game as an interesting one.
‘It was a good and interesting match and I want to congratulate both India and Bangladesh for presenting a nice match here.’

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