Bangladesh in tricky group after draw

July 31, 2013

Bangladesh were handed a potentially tough assignment after the draw ceremony of the 10th SAFF Football Championship in Kathmandu on Tuesday as they were grouped together with hosts Nepal, defending champions India and Pakistan.
Bangladesh will face Nepal in group A’s first game on September 1 followed by matches against India and Pakistan on September 3 and 5 respectively at the Dasharath Stadium in Kathmandu.
Group B contains last edition’s runners-up side Afghanistan, Maldives, Bhutan and Sri Lanka with the top two teams from each group going through to the last four.
Bangladesh encountered Pakistan, Nepal and Maldives in the group stages of the tournament’s previous edition two years ago in India, where they were ruled out in the first hurdle after drawing with Pakistan and suffering defeats against Nepal and Maldives.
National team’s Dutch coach Lodewijk de Kruif refused to target any particular team rather he was looking forward to the challenge of overcoming all the top teams and clinching the regional crown.
‘We have to face two favourites of this tournament in India and Nepal. We knew that they are the main contenders of the title. Anyways, we have to face them in the group. Our players are practising hard to win the SAFF title,’ said De Kruif.
‘In my point of view, Afghanistan got lucky in the groupings. Anyways, we will play our game,’ he added.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh will take part in a practice match today against Osotspa Saraburi FC, the fifth-placed team in the Thailand Premier League.
They will also play their second practice match on August 3 but the opposition is yet to be finalised.
The national team spent their second day in Thailand as part of their SAFF preparation as they practised at the National Football Center in Nangchok on Tuesday.
They went through a warm-up session supervised by fitness coach Muhammet Yamali which was followed by a tactical and technical training session conducted by De kruif.
Group A
India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan
Group B
Afghanistan, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Bhutan
Bangladesh Fixtures
September 1 – Bangladesh Vs Nepal
September 3 – Bangladesh Vs India
September 5 – Bangladesh Vs Pakistan
*All the matches will kick-off at 6:45pm
(Bangladesh Standard Time)

-With New Age input

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