Having clinched a spot in the final round of the AFC U-16 Women's Championship following their 1-0 win against Myanmar on Friday, Bangladesh's players were in a relaxed mood ahead of today's last Group B match of the second round of qualifiers against China.
The match will kick off at 2:30pm in Mandalathiri Stadium, with hosts Myanmar and Philippines squaring off in a dead rubber three hours later.
Both Bangladesh and China have confirmed their final round berth, thanks to consecutive victories and today's match will be all about who goes through as champions and who finishes second.
A win for either side will see them emerge group champions while a draw will mean China will finish ahead of Bangladesh, courtesy of a better goal difference. The Chinese have scored 12 goals to Bangladesh's 11; neither team have conceded a goal thus far.
The Bangladesh players, who spent the day doing their usual drills including swimming and gym session before a light practice session, were looking at the game against China as a great opportunity to rub shoulders against one of the strongest sides in women's football.
Captain Maria Manda said in a video message, “China are one of the strongest teams in women's football. We will try to fight against them according to our ability. Playing against this kind of quality opposition allows us to learn and improve.”
The team's coach, Golam Rabbani Choton, spoke in a similar vein: “The reality is that they [China] are a quality team, and they are far superior to us in every regard. So our target would be to judge how much improvement the players have really made through training and match experience over the last couple of years.”
No matter what the result is tomorrow, the qualification for the final round is certain to give Bangladesh women's team a boost ahead of this month's SAFF Women's Championship, where a number of these players will feature alongside senior players.