Bangladesh will be looking to emerge group champions in the Bangamata U-19 Women’s International Gold Cup when they take on a spirited Kyrgyzstan in Group B’s final match at the Bangabandhu National Stadium today.
Both sides have already confirmed their semifinal berths by beating the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and, with three points each, the tie will decide which team sits top of the three-team group.
A draw would be good enough for the women in red and green as they have a better goal difference, meaning Kyrgyzstan will need an outright win if they are to top the group.
However, Bangladesh are not thinking of a stalemate. Instead they have their sights on securing three points and moving into the semifinals with a winning record.
“We have already booked the semifinal seat but our target is to become group champions and try our level best to beat Kyrgyzstan, who are a good side and came to this stage following a good show against the UAE,” said captain Misrat Jahan Moushumi yesterday.
Golam Rabbani Choton’s charges had a rest day yesterday but they watched Wednesday’s Kyrgyzstan-UAE match to study the strengths and weaknesses of their opponents, who had a brilliant result in last October’s AFC U-19 Women’s Championship Qualifiers where they finished group runners-up with wins over UAE, Guam and Maldives and a defeat to ultimate champions Uzbekistan.
“Kyrgyzstan are physically strong and play attacking football. We have discussed how will we play against them and we will also be trying to give our best,” said central defender Akhi Khatun.
“We are not taking Kyrgyzstan lightly. We are focused on not repeating the same mistakes we made against the UAE. We practiced for the past two days to rectify those mistakes. We will be trying to avail all the scoring opportunities against Kyrgyzstan,” said forward Krishna Rani Sarker, who also believes a 10-0 win over Kyrgyzstan in the AFC U-16 Women’s Championship Qualifiers will give them a morale boost.
Kyrgyzstan coach Gaivornoskaia Natalia said they were waiting for the Bangladesh match as they were eager to put up their best performance.
“It is going to be an entertaining match because both sides are equal. Bangladesh beat UAE 2-1 (actual margin was 2-0) and we beat UAE 2-0,” said Natalia, adding that Bangladesh were a speedy side that played as a team.
The match will get underway at 6:00pm with private satellite channels RTV and Nagorik TV telecasting live from the venue.