Revamped Bangladesh eye reprieve in Bhutan

September 6, 2016

Bangladesh national football team will be keen to wipe off their recent poor memories against Maldives with a better show against a much-improved Bhutan in the first-leg of the Asian Cup Qualifiers Play-Offs at home today. The match will kick-off at 7:00pm and BTV World will live telecast the match from the Bangabandhu National Stadium. Beaten 5-0 by Maldives in buildup, Bangladesh coach Tom Saintfiet completely overhauled his squad for the game and has opted for some greenhorns at the expense of veteran players like Mamunul Islam.
Mamunul was replaced by Arambagh Krira Sangha midfielder Mohammad Abdullah in the squad while goalkeeper Ashraful Islam Rana was given the captains armband.
Saintfiet also excluded — defenders Nasiruddin Chowdhury, Wali Faisal, Yeamin Ahmed Chowdhury Munna, midfielders Pranotosh Kumar, Sohel Rana, Sentu Chandra Sen, goalkeepers Mostak and Mohammad Nehal and forward Aminur Rahman Sazib — citing their poor performance in the Maldives friendly.
‘It won’t be an easy game against Bhutan because teams have changed,’ Saintfiet said ahead of the match.
‘Bhutan have developed a lot and Sheikh Russell’s 4-3 loss to FC Tertons was a proof.
‘It’s time for Bangladesh to stand up and show they are better than Bhutan.’
The Belgian was given some food for thought by Bhutan’s number seven Chencho Gyeltshen, who possessed a constant threat for their opponents in recent matches.
‘We can’t attack blindly because if we do so, Chencho Gyeltshen, who is a very dangerous player, will be free to score, which will put us in deep trouble,’ said Saintfiet.
‘I will be happy with a win no matter where the goal comes from. It would be nice if we don’t concede a goal. If it’s 1-0, I will be happy, if its’ 2-0, I will be happier.
‘We need a win because going to Bhutan for the away match with that high altitude will not be easy,’ said the coach referring to October 10 away-leg.
Meanwhile, Bhutan head coach Pema said that they would be satisfied to leave the field with a draw.
‘To win an away match is very difficult,’ said Pema, who got only two weeks to prepare the team after completing their local league.
‘If we can earn a draw, it will be very fruitful for our boys.’
Pema picked up seven players from FC Tartons, who beat Sheikh Russell 4-3 in the AFC Cup Qualifiers Play-offs.

-With New Age input

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