FIFA-AFC Joint Qualifiers

3 months prep sufficient: Topu

Staff Correspondent | Published: 22:48, Jul 14,2020


A file photo shows Bangladesh national football team coach Jamie Day (L) keeping his left hand on defender Topu Barman’s forehead during a gym session. — BFF photo

Bangladesh national football team defender Topu Barman on Tuesday said that the team had enough time in their hands to get ready for the remaining part of their FIFA World Cup 2022 and AFC Asian Cup 2023 joint qualifiers, scheduled to take place in October-November.

Jamie Day’s charges, who have been out of action for more than four months, are expecting to resume their training camp in the first week of August before playing their home game against Afghanistan on October 8.

In the other two home games, Bangladesh will play India and Oman on November 12 and 17 respectively after facing reigning Asian Cup champions Qatar in Doha on October 13.

The 25-year old Bashundhara Kings centre-back thought they had enough time to get ready for the matches.

‘Our camp will start in August and we will have enough time to get ready for the matches…I hope we will get positive results in our three home games,’ said Topu, who missed all four previous games of the FIFA-AFC joint qualifies due to a knee injury he suffered in April, 2019.

In their earlier Group E matches, Bangladesh played a 1-1 draw against India while losing three games against Afghanistan (0-1), Qatar (0-2) and Oman (1-4).

Topu, however, took inspiration from their performances in the qualifiers so far and hoped for positive results in the remaining fixtures.

‘We lost against Afghanistan conceding a late goal, we were better as a team in the first-leg in Tajikistan…I am expecting a positive result in the home match,’ Topu said.

‘We had almost won against India at their home match but unfortunately conceded the late goal in the 89th minute. It was our bad luck… It is going to be a fifty-fifty match in home match against India,’ he added.

Out of the remaining home games, Topu termed Oman as the strongest opponent and hoped to adopt a defensive game to muster some points from that match.

‘We will try hard to defend against them [Oman]. We will get positive results, if we perform as a team,’ said Topu, who appeared for the national side in 30 games and scored three goals.

After recovering from injury, Topu returned in action in December 2019 in the 31st edition of the Federation Cup and also played six matches in the 12th Bangladesh Premier League before all football competitions in the country stopped due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Want stories like this in your inbox?

Sign up to exclusive daily email