The visiting Laos team looked upbeat during a training session on astro-turf at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Mostafa Kamal Stadium yesterday despite having suffered a 1-0 defeat against Bangladesh at home in their first-leg match of the 2022 World Cup and 2013 Asian Cup pre-qualifiers.
Laos, who arrived in to parts on Saturday, were initially scheduled train on grass at the Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club ground. However, following a drizzle, the session was cancelled to avoid any possible injuries ahead of their crucial second-leg tie against Bangladesh at the Bangabandhu National Stadium tomorrow.
The Laos players seemed to be in a cheerful mood during practice but their Singaporean coach, V Sundram Moorthy, looked to be dead serious about turning the tables. Moorthy did not allow the session to begin in earnest until all the Bangladeshi media personalities had left the stadium.
However, Moorthy was quite amiable with the media during the session’s stretching portion, saying that they had come here to win the match and progress to the next round.
“The 90-minute match is now important for us and we believe it is possible to overturn the result. We are confident and will go all out to win the game,” Moorthy said. “In the first match, we had a few chances but we could not capitalise and that’s the reason we’re 1-0 down. Hopefully we will make use of our chances in Bangladesh’s home match and that is important.”
“The difference in the first match was that we could not avail our chances but Bangladesh had only one or two shots on target and got the goal and that is football. We must continue to get stronger and try to go all out and beat Bangladesh,” the Singaporean explained.
The Laos coach did however admit that Bangladesh have improved since when they last played the side in a FIFA friendly in early 2018.
“Bangladesh have been improving. They are much better physically. They make the difference with speed and good passes upfront as well as the flank,” said the 53-year-old, adding that it would not be a problem if it rains on match day as both teams will play on the same pitch.
In case of a win or a draw for the hosts on Tuesday, Bangladesh will qualify for the group stages of the qualification campaign. Laos, on the other hand, will need to win to have any chance of qualification. A 1-0 win for Laos will take the game into extra time while any other scoreline of victory in normal time will see the Southeast Asians qualify at Bangladesh’s expense.