The Bangladesh team will look to secure a place in the SAFF U-18 Championship final when they take on Bhutan in a semifinal encounter at the Armed Police Force ground in Kathmandu, Nepal today.
The match is set to get underway at 11:15am Bangladesh time before India and Maldives play the second semifinal later at the same ground.
Although Bangladesh became runners-up in the in 2017 edition of the tournament, held in a round-robin format, the boys in red and green never qualified for the final of the regional youth championship, which is now being held in tournament format, just as it had been in the 2015 inaugural edition.
Bangladesh made their exit from the semifinal stage during the inaugural edition following a 3-4 defeat in tiebreakers to India. They also had to be satisfied with a second-place finish in the round-robin formatted second edition after losing 2-1 to Nepal in the group stages.
The boys in red and green are now up against Bhutan, a side who have never beaten their Bangladeshi counterparts in the previous two editions. Bangladesh did however beat Bhutan 2-0 and 3-0 on both occasions.
“We are going to play a very positive game. It’s nice to know who we are going to play because over the past few days we didn’t know whether it was going to be Bhutan or Maldives,” head coach Andrew Peter Turner said yesterday. “We watched them a couple of times. We know what they are exactly like. They are a decent team and we prepared and trained well today [Thursday] and got a plan in place to hopefully go through to the final.”