Midfielder Sohel Rana has been ruled out of the game against India after picking up an injury in the last match…
Bangaldesh coach Jamie Day is painting a picture of cautious optimism ahead of their crucial 2022 World Cup qualifier against India at the Jassim Bin Hammad stadium in Doha on Monday.
While the Bangla Tigers are at the bottom of Group E, they are coming off a morale-boosting 1-1 draw against Afghanistan on Thursday. They also managed to hold India to a 1-1 draw in 2019 in the reverse fixture.
Those are the only two points Bangladesh have notched so far while India have managed three draws in six games. India come into this match after a 1-0 loss against Qatar where they were reduced to 10-men for most of the match.
“It’s a fantastic achievement to get a draw against a very good team (Afghanistan). We are looking to take that confidence into the India game. We know it’s going to be an extremely tough game again. We are asking the boys to repeat that performance and reach their maximum levels, which we know we are going to need to do against India,” added Day.
Day is aware that his team are not the favourites against India who are ranked 79 spots higher than them.
“India have far better quality and showed it last night when they lost only 1-0 [to Qatar]. This is the simplest way I can put it,” he was quoted as saying by Daily Star.
“There are always one or two games where the other team can cause an upset but that’s not consistent. They have better technical players than us,” added Day, referencing the 1-1 draw the two sides played out in 2019 at Kolkata.
Day went on to add that Bangladesh will be looking to play the game defensively and eke out a result.
“I personally don’t think we can attack better teams and players from the start although another coach may have a different approach. I think it is better to be in the game for 90 minutes than for the match to be over in 45 because we are two or three goals down,” he stated.
However, Day will be without the services of key midfielder Sohel Rana who has fractured his hand.
“We are disappointed to lose Sohel Rana for the next two games with the injury to his arm. He has been a good player for us and a key player for the national team. But it gives someone else the chance to step in and play for the national team, perform and show that they are capable of playing at the international level.”
Meanwhile, Bangladesh’s goalscorer against Afghanistan, Tapu Barman, is eyeing an upset over India.
“The India match is very important for us because we need to get points from this match to play the Asian Cup Qualifying round directly. This fact is on everyone’s mind and our confidence has been boosted after the Afghanistan match,” the centre-back told Daily Star.