Japan tie excites Sabina, Titu
Bangladesh women's football team captain Sabina Khatun is excited about the prospect of playing against former World champions and Asian Games winners Japan in debut Asian Games appearance IN in Hangzhou, China next week.
The women in red and green would kick off their campaign against the 2011 World Cup winners on Friday, a day before the official inauguration of Asia's biggest sporting extravaganza.
"Personally, I'm very excited about the Japan match because they are one of the top teams in the world and I also supported them during the World Cup. Besides, it will be a huge experience for us," Sabina told reporters during a press conference at the BFF House yesterday, hours before flying out to China.
"Playing against Japan and Vietnam will be new experience which could help us to progress further. It will make the players more passionate to perform better," Sabina added.
Bangladesh will play their second match on September 25 against Vietnam – another World Cup participant – before wrapping up the group campaign against familiar foes Nepal three days later.
Although Nepal (101) are 41 places above Bangladesh in FIFA ranking, the victory over the Himalayan nation in last year's SAFF Women's Championship and the two draws against them at home this year will give Bangladesh some confidence.
Coach Saiful Bari Titu, who represented the country in the 1990 Asian Games in Beijing as a player, said that beating Nepal will be their main target while the matches against Japan and Vietnam would be learning experience.
"It will be the first time Bangladesh football team will play against a world champion. It would be a unique experience and a test for us to know our level. But our main target would be to win against Nepal and it would be more than a realistic target," said Titu, who has been given charge of the women's team for the Asian Games following the resignation of long-term coach Golam Rabbani Choton earlier this year.