Sunday, June 23, 2024

U-16 girls brace for toughest challenge

A highly motivated Bangladesh team will face Chinese Taipei today in the AFC Under-16 Women’s Championship Qualifiers with a place in the final round up from grabs.
Bangladesh have so far won their all three matches but still lagged behind Taipei, who are ahead by virtue of a better goal difference as they struck 21 goals compared to hosts’ 18 in three matches.
A draw would give Bangladesh an edge despite the goal difference as they will face UAE in their final group match while Taipei are scheduled to play against a ‘ strong’ Iran side in their final match.
The crucial tie between the two top teams of Group C will kick-off at 6:00pm at the Bangabandhu National Stadium with Bangladesh Television World broadcasting the match live.
Bangladesh coach Golam Rabbani Choton asked his charges to give their best to beat a side that has now turned out to be their only rival in the group.
‘I’m expecting a good match,’ Choton told reporters before their training session at the Abahani Limited Ground on Friday. ‘This game will decide who will qualify and who will miss. So both the teams will definitely try to win the game and play an all-out football.’
Choton, who has been guiding these girls’ since the last two-and-a-half years, said that the young Bangladesh team has gained lot of experiences of playing game in pressure situation over the years.
‘These girls played in the finals of two international tournaments in the past. The pressure is not bigger now,’ he said.
‘I just told my players not to get very excited because they [Chinese Taipei] might try to provoke our girls in the field.’
Choton said this match could be a turning point for women’s football in Bangladesh.
‘I always tell my girls that you are changing the scenario of women’s football in the country and this game is a turning point for you,’ said the coach. ‘If we can win this game the women’s football in the country will reach a new height.’
Defender Shamsunnahar, who scored a brace during the hosts’ 10-0 win against Kyrgyzstan, said they worked a lot to get ready for today’s match.
‘Sir [coach] did a lot of works with the defenders ahead of this match,’ said Samsunnahar. ‘We didn’t have to face any challenge in the last three matches. We will try not to make any mistake in tomorrow’s [today] game.’
Bangladesh goalkeeper Mahmuda, who touched the ball only for seven times in the last match against Kyrgyzstan, said she is ready to show her calibre if needed.
‘I didn’t have to touch the ball that much in three matches so I had to work extra in the practice session,’ she said.
‘Few players like Marzia and Krishna (captain) proved their best in the last three matches but I didn’t get the opportunity but I’m ready to show my skills if I get a chance tomorrow [today].’

-With New Age input

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