‘We are playing positive football’

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Photo: BFF

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Photo: BFF

Following a creditable 1-1 draw against India in the SAFF Championship, the booters of Bangladesh national football team are looking forward to keeping the winning momentum intact in their third match against Maldives on Thursday.

Bangladesh are in second position of the five-team table with four points, two more than leaders Nepal who on Monday night recorded an exciting 3-2 win over Sri Lanka.

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The men in red and green played as a unit against mighty India on Monday despite being reduced to 10 man and strongly came back in the match with a strike from left-back Yeasin Arafat while Jamal Bhuiyan, Mohammad Ibrahim and Biplu Ahmed kept the midfield compact to deny India spaces in midfield.

“Despite playing better football, we could not win the match. Please pray for us that we can win the next match and repeat the performance we showed against India. We will be happy if we achieve our target of playing the final,” Biplu Ahmed told the Daily Star, just prior to the training at Henveiru Training Ground in Male today.

(From left to right) Tariq Kazi, Ariqur Rahman Fahad and Rakib Hossain during a practice session. Photo: BFF

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(From left to right) Tariq Kazi, Ariqur Rahman Fahad and Rakib Hossain during a practice session. Photo: BFF

Winger Rakib Hossain regretted not being able to capitalize on the goal-scoring opportunity in the second half against India. “I was a bit tired after moving up and down, so I could not maintain my balance when Saad Uddin chipped the ball in front of me with only goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh to beat.”

Goalkeeper Ansiur Rahman Zico is also looking forward to the next match against Maldives. 

“We are playing positive football now and trying to play passing football by keeping our confidence intact. The way we have been playing football in the SAFF Championship so far, we want to play the same way and with the same tempo in coming days,” Zico said. “Despite having one man short, we played well and we want to keep the momentum intact in the match against Maldives.”

Zico also believes the forwards have to step up their game to score goals if Bangladesh want to win the SAFF Championship.

“Of course, the forwards have to score goals if we want to win the tournament but the goals from defenders are also good sign for the team because it is a big advantage for the team whoever scores the goals. We know Maldives backline is not as strong as their forwards. So, if we can create goal-scoring opportunities, then we have good chance to win the match,” said the Bashundhara Kings goalkeeper.

Forward Matin Mia is also confident of scoring again if he can play the way he played against India.

“Yesterday was a different day for me because I played in my original position. I just tried to play the way the coach instructed me and that’s why I could play a bit better. If we can keep playing this way, I believe we can do better in coming days,” Matin said. “It is true that the forwards have to score in the match but it is a game of 11 vs 11 players, so anyone can score goals. We, the forwards, are also trying to score goals because the coach is working on it in the training session.”



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