Hosts Bangladesh will be eager to make the inaugural Bangamata U-19 Women’s International Gold Cup a memorable one when they take on Laos in the final at the Bangabandhu National Stadium today.
The match will get underway at 6:00 pm and private satellite channels -- RTV and Nagorik TV -- will telecast the match live from the venue.
Both Bangladesh and Laos stormed into the final of the six-nation tournament with an unbeaten record and more importantly, they put in authoritative performances in all three matches, including the semifinal. The final is anticipated to be an evenly-contested affair between two fast-growing women’s football nations.
Our target is to keep the trophy at home. We want to win the final by doing our best. If the forwards can do their jobs well, then we can win the match easily.
Mishat Jahan Moushumi captain of Bangladesh
We are ready to give more than a hundred per cent in the final. We will put all our effort into winning the trophy, although the backline of Bangladesh is good, but it will be tested in the final.
Aphatsala captain of Laos
As far as performance on the pitch goes, Laos may be a bit ahead of Bangladesh, especially the way the Southeast Asian nation flooded their opponents with a total of 18 goals in three matches. While the girls in red and green could not impress with their goal tally (seven in three matches) but they will certainly have an advantage playing in front of a home crowd in a familiar environment.
The charges of Golam Rabbani Choton however promised to give their level best against Laos. Stopping their forwards, especially on-song striker Pe who struck eight goals, seems the main concern for a Bangladesh backline that had hardly faced any tests in the three matches so far and the pre-match conference was full with talk of whether Bangladeshi defenders can stop the attacking lineup.
“As it is the final, which will be competitive, the backline will be tested because the opponents have some good strikers but I believe these girls played such finals at home and aboard before and they have the experience to go through such matches,” said Choton at the pre-match conference at the BFF House yesterday. “However, we want to focus on our own game and follow the game plan but we have placed extra attention on their strikers.”
Bangladesh will have to think of their forwards lineup as striker Sirat Jahan Swapna is not available for selection while fit-again forward Krishna Rani may play as a substitute. However, the team management is thinking of taking the field with the same playing eleven that beat Mongolia 3-0 with a change up front and team management will bank on Monica Chakma, Marzia, Sanjida Khatun and Tahura Khatun to find the opposition net.
“Our target was to play the final, which we have already achieved. I believe the girls will give their best to make the inaugural tournament a memorable one by clinching the trophy for the nation,” said Choton.
“However, we have to give extra effort and keep maintain the concentration more against Laos because up till now, we played against teams that are behind Bangladesh.”
Choton’s counterpart -- Vongmisay Soubouakham -– is also confident of lifting the trophy, knowing well that the tie would be a tough one in front of the home crowd.
“We are prepared more than hundred per cent. Playing at the hosts’ home ground is always difficult for the girls but this team went through such situation many times in AFC tournaments before. So, the confidence is with the players and if they can put their hundred per cent against the host team, who will also want to become champions, we can win the title,” said Vongmisay, who has been with this squad for the last four years.