Forwards in the firing line
Smarting from a 2-0 drubbing at the hands of Gwangju FC, the national booters take on Sehan University in their second practice match today with hopes that their forwards can find the back of the net.
The match is scheduled to kick off at 1:00pm (BST) at the Mokpo International Football Center in South Jeolla.
Bangladesh are in South Korea for an intensive training programme and to play three practice games as part of their preparations for the upcoming Asian Games and SAFF Championship.
English coach Jamie Day's charges had a comparatively good match against second-tier professional side Gwangju, creating a few good chances. However their forwards could not cash in on those chances due to poor finishing, a long-standing problem for the national team.
Although they made a few mistakes in regards to their defensive organisation against Gwangju, Day emphasised on scoring ability in yesterday's training session so that the forwards would be sharper up front.
"As our main problem is scoring, we worked with the forwards on their finishing in today's [Thursday] practice. The forwards failed to cash in on scoring opportunities in the first practice match, so Day wants the forwards to capitalise on the opportunities they will get in the match against Sehan University tomorrow [Friday]," said assistant coach Mahbub Hossain Roxy over the phone yesterday.
Saad Uddin, Mohammad Abdullah and Rabiul Hasan got one scoring opportunity each in the first half against Gwangju but they failed to find the target. Saad did find the back of the net once in the first half, but the goal was ruled out due to an offside.
Day had previously informed that he would play the Olympic squad in the last two practice matches to give some much-needed game time to the players who are going to play later this month in the Asian Games, where Bangladesh have been drawn against Qatar, Thailand and Uzbekistan in Group B of the football event.
Day opted to stick with the same squad that played against Al Mesaimeer FC of Qatar when his side took the field against Gwangju, before sending out an entirely new eleven for the second half. It is expected that the same team will start today.
The former Arsenal player prefers a 4-2-3-1 with Rahmat Mia, Tapu Barman, Tutul Hossain Badsha and Biswanath Gosh in defence with Jamal Bhuiyan and Masuk Mia Jonny as holding midfielders. Rabiul Hasan, Mohammad Abdullah and Mahbubur Rahman Sufil will be in charge of creative duties behind lone striker Saad Uddin.
However although Day has concentrated on solving the scoring problem, he must also focus on the players' lack of concentration in the dying moments of matches, during which time Bangladesh have often conceded crucial goals.