Hosts optimistic, Kuwait confident
Bangladesh U23 football team will be looking for an improved performance when they take on Kuwait in the second-leg of the Pre-Olympic Qualifying tie at the Bangabandhu National Stadium today.
Trailing by 2-0 goals from the first leg, Bangladesh have no option but to win the game by a better margin if they are to qualify for the next round. Coach Robert Rubcic is intent on putting up a good show if not winning the match outright which will be a very tough ask against a side, who have beaten Japan (3-0), Yemen (5-0) and Bahrain (1-0) in practice matches.
“I am looking forward for a good match tomorrow (Wednesday) against Kuwait. They are a very tough side, with six or seven dangerous and speedy players. I am optimistic about a good performance,” said Rubcic at a pre-match briefing at the BFF House yesterday.
“Nonetheless, I believe our youngsters will play good football,” Rubcic said. “We are not going to play the way we played against them in the away leg; there will definitely be a change in strategy.”
Explaining the weakness of the squad, Rubcic said the players cannot run for the course of the 90 minutes and they could not cope up with the speed of the opposition players in the last match. Despite the limitations, the Croat is optimistic about presenting a challenge against Kuwait.
Kuwait, on the other hand, are confident about a win and are looking forward to the next round.
“It doesn't matter to me whether the result is 1-0 or 0-0 because our target is to qualify for the next round and I am only thinking about our game. I hope the boys will continue from where they left on home soil,” said Kuwait coach Maher Al Shammari.
Shammari wasn't also expecting any surprise from the hosts, especially after the way they played in the first game. According to Shammari Bangladesh played an ultra-defensive game in the last leg and the margin of victory could have been much higher had the strikers not squandered a host of opportunities.
“This is a new game, anything can happen. But I am not expecting any surprise. We will not allow any room to the opponents to score. We are looking forward to the next round,” added Shammari.