Jibon, Matin raring to go
12:00 AM, March 07, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:06 AM, March 07, 2019

Jibon, Matin raring to go

The national team's striking duo of Nabib Newaj Jibon and Matin Mia were eager to repay the faith placed on them by coach Jamie Day ahead of the FIFA friendly against Cambodia to be held in Phnom Penh on Saturday.

Goalscoring has long been a headache for the national team and their strikers getting less opportunities in domestic matches owing to the presence of quality foreign forwards has remained one of the main reasons behind the goal drought at the international level. However, this time around Jibon and Matin have been playing and scoring regularly for Abahani and Bashundhara Kings respectively in the Bangladesh Premier League.

Jibon has struck six goals so far for defending champions Abahani while Matin has netted four for league leaders Bashundhara Kings.

"I am really confident of scoring [against Cambodia] because I am getting goals regularly in the league. When I take to the ground, I have a thing that I have to score which today works inside me. You know confidence drives a player to get goals and I'm really confident to do better in friendly matches," said Jibon on the eve of the team's departure for Cambodia yesterday.

However, while foreign teammates like Nigeria's Sunday Chizoba, Haiti's Fils Belfort and South Korea's Min-hyuk Ko provide Jibon with top-notch service at club level, he definitely will not be getting that level of assistance in the national team. Yet, Jibon was optimistic of keeping his goalscoring form intact at the international level.

"I know I won't get the same support that teammates like Sunday, Belfort and Ko provide me with at the club level but I don't think it will be a problem for me to get goals because Cambodia are not that far ahead of us.

"Besides, we also have some good midfielders like Jamal Bhuiyan, Emon Babu and Fahad who can distribute good balls. There won't be any problem if we have good understanding among ourselves," said Jibon, who made his international debut against Kyrgyzstan during the World Cup Qualifiers in 2015.

Like Jibon, Matin was also upbeat about his chances of getting goals against Cambodia.

"The coach has faith on me because I am scoring goals in the league. I am confident of paying back it. The way I am scoring goals in the domestic league makes me confident that I can score in international matches too,” said Matin Mia.

"It is right I won't get the type of passes that I get from my foreign teammates but we have to create the opportunities because foreign players will not play for Bangladesh. However, it is an advantage for me that I am getting a couple of teammates who are operating the Bashundhara Kings midfield. So, they know what type of passes I like and when to release the ball for me," said Matin, who has played only once for the senior national team.

Meanwhile, the booters left for Cambodia yesterday with one change as Abahani midfielder Sohel Rana replaced Bashundhara Kings midfielder Emon Babu, who withdrew after sustaining an injury in Tuesday's match against Sheikh Russel.

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