Up against Palestine, hosts eye an upset

Sudipta Ananda . Cox’s Bazar | Published: 00:05, Oct 10,2018 | Updated: 23:53, Oct 09,2018

 
 

Bangladesh national football team players attend a training session on Tuesday ahead of their Bangabandhu Gold Cup semi-final against Palestine in Cox’s Bazar. — BFF photo

Hosts Bangladesh will be hoping to create an upset when they take on higher-ranked Palestine in the second semi-final of the Bangabandhu Gold Cup at the Birsrestha Ruhul Amin Stadium in Cox’s Bazar today.
The match will kick-off at 2:30pm with BTV, Maasranga TV and Nagorik TV telecasting the match live.
Palestine are the top-ranked team in the six-nation tournament as they are currently in 100th position in the FIFA ranking.
Bangladesh, on the other hand, are now in 193rd position which means they have to make upset to keep them in the tourney.
Before the crucial match, the home side seemed to be relieved with their suddenly-sick head coach Jamie Day returning to his duty from the hospital on Tuesday noon.
The 38-year-old coach felt pain in his chest and had to be admitted at the Cox’s Bazar Sadar Hospital.
However, the doctors gave good news for Day as they didn’t find any complicacy after the diagnosis.
The return of the head coach reduced the extra tension from the Bangladesh squad as they had their last training session at the Border Guard Bangladesh playing ground with the presence of Day.
‘The boys are ready for the game. We need to score to win. Hopefully we can do it tomorrow [today],’ said the coach after being released from the hospital.
‘We know it’s going to be tough game but I think we played well in the last two games and previous before that.
‘So we have to play well again and like I said before, we have to take our chances when they come along. Even though we lost to Philippines but the performances of the boys have been very good. Hope we can continue and score goals.’
Both teams met three times in past with Palestine won twice while the other ended with 1-1 tie.
Bangladesh coach claimed that Palestine would get an advantage in the game for their better physical strength and alerted his defence line-up to be more attentive.
‘So far we have done well in set pieces since I have been in charge, but it’s going to be difficult as they have got some big boys and their delivery are very good, so we need to make sure we mark them properly,’ he said.
‘We need to be aggressive as well in challenge. If we do that I can’t ask for anymore. So far we have done well in set-pieces and hopefully we can continue,’ added Day.
The pitch condition of the stadium became miserable after heavy rainfall in Cox’s Bazar throughout the day. However, Day couldn’t think much over the pitch condition.
‘Pitch is same for both teams, so it might suit us more than Palestine, I don’t know,’ he said.
‘I think, for us, we will just go out there and do what we are good at and play our game.
Bangladesh captain Jamal Bhuiyan also urged his team-mates to utilise the chances whenever they get it in the match.
‘We had to avail the chances.We got three to four chances against Philippines. To win tomorrow’s [today’s] game we have to avail the chances.’
Palestine head coach Noureddine hoped his charges would continue their winning form to make into the final.
‘Bangladesh have good players. They have immense fitness. I also prepare tactics for them,’ he said.
‘We are preparing for the Asian Cup. It gives me an opportunity to know my players. Our target was to go forward match by match and we would stick on it.’

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