Ahead of today's all important Group A decider in the SAFF Women's Championship against Nepal, the Bangladesh team underwent a recovery session at the calm and quiet Armed Police Force ground in Biratnagar, Nepal yesterday.
The match is set to begin at 3:15pm (BST) at the Sahid Rangsala.
The probable starting eleven enjoyed massages before they did some stretches in a bid to recover fully from Thursday's hard-fought win over Bhutan. The women in red and green also shared some light moments among them while watching the reserve bench practice, indicating that the team were relaxed ahead of their encounter with the home side just 48 hours away.
Both Nepal and Bangladesh already confirmed their places in the semifinal by beating Bhutan, however, the hosts are lead Bangladesh on goal difference. Therefore, any result other than an outright victory would put Bangladesh behind Nepal and raise the possibility of a semifinal match against four-time champions India, who are expected to be the Group B champions.
The women in red and green will look to establish their authority in midfield against Nepal, who never lost to Bangladesh at the senior level. On the other hand, Nepal's age-group teams have regularly suffered defeats against their Bangladeshi counterparts since 2015.
Nepal sent Bangladesh packing from the semifinal stage of the championship twice -- 2010 and 2014 editions -- while Bangladesh's lone source of inspiration is their 1-1 draw against the side in the Olympic Qualifiers last November.
To control the game, Bangladesh's midfield trio -- Monica Chakma, Maria Manda and Misrat Jahan Moushumi -- will have to work together in order to defuse their Nepali counterparts while also playmaking for strike pair Sabina Khatun and Sirat Jahan Swapna.
“Nepal have the distinctive advantage of having experienced senior players like their number 9 [Sabitra Bhandari] and Number 7 [Renuka Nagarkote]. In terms of physiology, fitness levels are the same, technically they have some good players but so do we. We have the ability to turn things around during the game as per the demand of game proportion. We are very dangerous in set pieces. We can manage the game very well, like we did against Bhutan,” said the women's team technical adviser Paul Smalley yesterday.
Smalley, also the technical director of the Bangladesh Football Federation, tagged Nepal as a strong team but added that Bangladesh have the quality to put up a fight against Nepal in front of a home crowd, adding that Bangladesh will use a different formation against Nepal.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka ensured semifinal berth from Group B with a 2-0 win over Maldives yesterday.
The result also confirmed semifinal berth for India, who beat Maldives 6-0 in the tournament opener.