Hosts Bangladesh received a big blow ahead of their semifinal match against Mongolia as the striking pair of Sirat Jahan Swapna and Krishna Rani Sarker are likely to miss the match today.
Despite getting a lot of scoring chances against United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Kyrgyzstan, Bangladesh only managed to score four goals, with Krishna scoring two goals and Swapna scoring one.
However, both first-choice strikers limped out with knee injuries during the match Kyrgyzstan on Friday and are currently in rehabilitation.
“There is little chance of getting Krishna and Swapna in the semifinal [against Mongolia] as they are in rehabilitation programme. MRI’s have already been done and we are waiting for the report which we are supposed to get tonight,” informed Bangladesh coach Golam Rabbani Choton.
“The depth of the injury to Swapna is more than that of Krishna and only time will tell whether they will be available for the semifinal,” said Choton.
Swapna sustained an injury in her right knee in a collision with the Kyrgyzstan goalkeeper in the first half while Krishna received a rough tackle on her right knee by a Kyrgyz defender in the second half.
What’s worrying is that both these strikers are apparently irreplaceable even though the team management is hopeful that Marzia and Tahura Khatun will be good replacements.
“The way Marzia and Tahura played in the last match coming on as substitutes, we are optimistic that there will be no problem if Krishna and Swapna miss the match. However, it is undoubtedly true that Krishna and Swapna are very important players in our squad,” said the coach.
“Previously in different tournaments our substitutes did not let us realise the absence of first-eleven players. We will be hoping that the rest of the players will fulfil the vacuum left by the injured players,” added Choton.
The coach is also hopeful that whoever plays as forwards will not repeat the mistakes made in the first two matches and the team would leave the field with a victory against Mongolia.
“The semifinal is a knock-out game, so there is no alternative but to win. I think Mongolia are a good side and they are equal in strength to Kyrgyzstan and UAE. I believe the girls will give the same effort they put in the first two matches and give their best to win the match,” Choton said.