Ameli calls for calm before Bhutan tie

Staff Correspondent | Published: 23:45, Oct 02,2016


Bangladesh national football team players jog during a training session at the Kamalapur stadium on Sunday. — Courtesy BFF

Veteran striker Zahid Hasan Ameli urged his team-mates to stay calm without worrying too much about the forthcoming Asian Cup qualifiers play-off match against Bhutan scheduled on October 10 in Thimpu.

Ameli, who returned to the preliminary squad after long layoff due to a knee injury, was vying for spot in the 23-member final squad.

The 29-year old forward, who scored 15 goals for the national team in his 11-year long career, made an attempt to lift the morale of fellow players, who were left dejected after a goalless draw at home against Bhutan.

‘We got series of scoring chances in the home game and if we could utilise 15 per cent of them we would win by at least 2-0 or 3-0 margin,’ said the veteran striker.

‘It made away game difficult for us but we must not consider Bhutan as a threat as we always dominated them in past. We have to play pressure less football there [Thimpu].’
Ameli, who was facing strong competition from Shakhawat Hossin Rony, Enamul Haque,

Hemanta Biswash, Sohel Rana, Mahbub Hossain Nayan, Sawrar Zaman Nipu for a place in the final squad, said whoever plays in the frontline he must score at least one goal.

‘We don’t know who will play in the frontline but I think every striker must give their best to score at least one goal because a 1-1 draw will take us in the next round.

Ameli last played for national team in September 6 last year in the World Cup Qualifiers against Australia in Perth.

He was member of national team in the Bangabandhu Gold Club earlier this year but didn’t play any match due to injury and also missed most matches in the domestic fraternity.
‘After recovering from injury, I played last two games for Sheikh Russel KC and then coach [Tom Saintfiet] asked me to join the camp.

‘I considered it one last chance for me to retain the place of the national team.’
National team Belgian coach Tom Saintfiet, frustrated with his charges for their lack of scoring ability, appeared desperate to find some players who can score, something that apparently prompted him to recall veteran player like Ameli and Enamul.

‘Ameli and Enamul were selected because we have a problem in scoring goals,’ said Saintfiet.

‘If Ziban [Nabib Newaz], Rony [Shakhwat Hossain], Sohel Rana or anyone else had scored goals may be we wouldn’t have called them up. I think we need to find the right strikers,’ said the coach.

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