The Bangladesh Olympic football team will look to bounce back from a 3-0 defeat to Uzbekistan when they take on their Thai counterparts in their second match of Group B of the Asian Games today.
The match at the Pakansari Stadium in Bogor kicks off at 3:00pm Bangladesh time.
Jamie Day's charges gave a good account of themselves despite conceding three goals against the Uzbeks, especially in terms of fitness and stamina as they matched the pace of their physically and technically superior opponents throughout the match. There were but a few lapses in concentration but otherwise it was a good game even though they were not able to have a shot on opposition goal. The coach expressed his satisfaction at the energy level and mentality shown by the players and he was looking for the same spirit against the Thais.
"The players are in good spirits as they played well, so they don't need to feel down or anything," Day told this reporter. "My instruction to the players will be to do the same as the other day."
Bangladesh used to play Thailand quite regularly in the 1980s and 1990s in various competitions but have hardly played them in recent times. The most recent meeting between the senior sides of the two teams was a FIFA friendly in Bangkok in 2012, which Bangladesh lost 5-0. However, in 2015, Bangladesh's senior national team beat Thailand's under-23 team 1-0 in the Bangabandhu Gold Cup in Dhaka. However, that is something that should not to be taken into account ahead of this encounter.
The coach knows the three other teams in Group B are well ahead of Bangladesh and hence his team will have to be at their best to have any chance of eking out a result.
"Thailand are a very good side who, like Uzbekistan, have some very good players. We will need to perform to our best to try to get anything from the match," the 38-year-old opined.
The English coach worked with the players who played in that game through a video analysis and briefing session in the afternoon, trying to show them their mistakes and strategising a plan of action against the Thais.
Earlier in the morning, all the players went through a gym and swimming session while one group of players, who were not part of the eleven on Tuesday, and the senior players accompanying the team went through a practice session under assistant coaches Mahbub Hossain Roxy and Stuart Watkiss and manager Satayajit Das Rupu.
Rupu watched the Thailand-Qatar match on Tuesday night, which ended 1-1, and he felt Thailand might not be as imposing physically as Uzbekistan were.
"Both Thailand and Qatar are good teams, but I think Thailand might not be as quick as Uzbekistan. They might allow some space which Uzbekistan did not allow. What I noticed was that both teams played a little cagily, probably because neither wanted to lose the opening game," Rupu said.
Meanwhile, the players showed a nice gesture as they donated some token money to a charity working for children affected by the recent earthquake in the Lombok island of Indonesia.