'A big win for our football' | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, September 07, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:03 AM, September 07, 2018

'A big win for our football'

Bangladesh centre-back Tapu Barman said the victory against Pakistan yesterday was a much-needed one for the country's football and football fans.

The 24-year-old centre-back, who scored the decisive goal against Pakistan after having scored the first of the two goals against Bhutan in the opening match, also credited the hard work put into the side in the build-up to this year's SAFF Championship.

"This victory was very important for us, for our football and for our football fans," an elated Tapu said at the post-match press conference.

"I am extremely delighted at scoring two important goals. We needed to get our football up from the depths it was in and hopefully these victories will raise our football again. We have worked hard over the last few months and this victory is testament to that," said Tapu, who not only scored two important goals but has also marshalled the defence well throughout the 180 minutes of play so far. Although the hosts have the full six points from two matches, they are not yet assured of qualification for the semifinals, a stage Bangladesh failed to reach in the last three editions of this regional football tournament.

The last time Bangladesh made it to the semifinals was back in 2009 on home soil where they started with a win against Bhutan and a draw against Pakistan before a win against Sri Lanka saw them through.

Despite being in pole position with six points, Jamie Day's charges will need a draw against Nepal in their last group match on Saturday unless Pakistan fail to beat Bhutan earlier that day. So the coach was certainly cautious about his side's chances no matter how relieved he was with the victory.

"I think this win is a very deserved one. The boys played extremely well. I won't single out any player because it was a complete team effort," the Englishman told media.

"Pakistan are a very strong side and we had to dig in and fight. We knew we would have more energy towards the end and that is what gave us the advantage," Day, who recently guided the under-23 side into the knockout rounds of the Asian Games for the first time, said.

"I will let the boys party tonight. But we are not through yet and tomorrow we will have to get back to work for the important game against Nepal," Day said.

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