Dhaka, Bangladesh
Bangladesh brace to face India today

FIFA, AFC Qualifiers

Bangladesh brace to face India today

Sports Desk After an outstanding perfor-mance against Qatar at home , Bangladesh will play against India National Football team in their third group match of the Joint Qualification of the FIFA World Cup 2022 and AFC Asian Cup 2023 against upper-ranked India today (Tuesday) .The match kicks off at 7:30 pm (BdST). at the Salt Lake Stadium Yuba Bharati in Kolkata. Ahead of the match, a press conference was held on Monday at Novotel Hotel in Kolkata with both the teams expressing their hope for winning the match. Bangladesh, who are currently placed 187 in the FIFA ranking compared to India’s FIFA’s rank of 104,gave a good fight against Qatar in their last qualifying match at home held on Thursday last. Though the boys in red and green lost the match by 2-0 margin but Jamal Bhuyan and co. did not go down without a good fight, which Bangladesh take as inspiration ahead of India’s match. Bangladesh Head Coach Jamie Day said they are very confident and want to take chances to score in the match. “We have to play well, we have to take chances. Most of our players are from U-23 team. They have to take chances to score goal in tomorrow’s game against India. We have to work hard on this for last three or four months,” Jamie said. There will be an expectant crowd at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan, which has a capacity of 60,000. The pressure will be huge and Jamal was banking on it. “I think the pressure is on the Indian players. If they don’t perform, the crowd is going to come against them,” Jamal said. Bangladesh are at the foot of the group after losing to Afghanistan and Qatar in their first two matches but they put in a good performance in their 2-0 defeat to Qatar. Jamal said that he would want his team to be relaxed. “I am gonna say to my players that you should just go out there and enjoy. Maybe you will never get this chance again. Let’s take the three points. Ofcourse India are the favourites,” he said of the message he was going to give his players. India and Bangladesh last played at the ground back in 1985 ahead of the Mexico World Cup. That game had ended 2-1 in favour of India. Ashish Bhadra scored for Bangladesh in the 15th minute before India equalised through Bikash Panji’s 36th minute strike. Substitute Camillo Gonsalves found the winner in the 40th minute. India will be playing their first match in Kolkata since 2011 and the euphoria around the match has been immense with a mad rush for tickets among football lovers in the city and suburban areas. On the other hand, Indian Head Coach Igor Stimac said, “Our players have already proved themselves. We have showed that we can play against anyone. In the first two games, we were not favourites. But, now the whole pressure is on us. We have to win this game.” “Bangladesh did very good against Qatar. They created more chances. They have come here to win the match,” Stimac added. Bangladesh, who was put on Group E of the AFC Cup with Qatar, Oman, neighboring India and Afghanistan, are yet to open their account. The men in red and green started their campaign with a 0-1 goal defeat against Afghanistan in their first match in the Tajik capital Dushanbe on September 10 and conceded a 0-2 goals defeat against Asian Champions Qatar in their second match in Dhaka on October 10. In the remaining group matches, Bangladesh will play Oman on November 14 in Oman, Afghanistan on March 26 next year in Bangladesh, Qatar on March 31 in Qatar, India on June 4 in Bangladesh and Oman on June 9 in Bangladesh. On the other hand, India are now in 4th slot of the point table securing 2 points from two matches with one draw and one defeat. India started their campaign conceding 1-2 goals defeat against Oman in their first match in Guwahati on September 5 but played out a goalless draw (0-0) against Qatar in their second game in Doha on September 10. Bangladesh team: Shahidul Alam Sohel, Ashraful Islam Rana, Anisur Rahman, Pappu Ahmed, Rahmat Mia, Yeasin Khan, Bishwanath Ghosh, Riyadul Hasan, Yeasin Arafat, Tutul Hosain Badsha, SM ManjururRahman, Raihan Hasan, Jamal Bhuiyan, Rabiul Hasan, Mamunul Islam Mamun, Sohel Rana, Biplu Ahamed, Arifur Rahman, Mohammad Ibrahim, Towhidul Alam Sabuz, Mahbubur Rahman, Matin Miah, Nabib Newaz Jiban, Saad Uddin and Jewel Rana. India team: Gurpreet Singh, Rahul Bheke, Sandesh Jhingan, Adil Khan, Anirudh Thapa, Sahal Abdul Samad, Manvir Singh, Nikhil Poojari, Udanta Singh, Mandar Dessai, Rowllin Borges, Brandon Fernandes, Vinit Rai, Narendra, Kamaljit Singh, Amrinder Singh, Subhasish Bose, Pritam Kotal, Anas Edathodika, Muhammed Ashique Kuruniyan, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Balwant Singh.

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