After having played a key role in seeing Bangladesh top Group B of the Bangamata U-19 Women’s International Gold Cup, winger Sanjida Akter is already looking past the semifinals and focusing on Laos as possible final opponents.
The skilful winger, who scored the opening goal within 30 seconds before setting up Krishna Rani Sarker in the second half against Kyrgyzstan on Friday, said they were not afraid of facing Laos should the Southeast Asian nation make it to the final.
Bangladesh will play the second semifinal against the Group A runners-up team on April 30 while Kyrgyzstan will take on the Group A champions on the previous day.
“Laos have beaten Mongolia by a big margin. So they are undoubtedly a strong team. We may face them in the final, and we are prepared for it,” Sanjida said after the team’s training session yesterday afternoon.
“We have played against teams like Japan and Korea in the past, so there is nothing to be afraid of in Laos. The final will be a very good match,” Sanjida added.
Coach Golam Rabbani Choton admitted that finishing was a worry for his team, and that they need to sort it out soon.
“Our finishing against Kyrgyzstan was better than in the first match. But we will have to work more on finishing before the semifinal match. We have a problem in finishing,” the coach said.
The team’s captain Misrat Jahan Moushumi, meanwhile, was satisfied with the team creating many goalscoring opportunities, even though she was a bit disappointed with not making most of those chances.
“We have played well and there has been improvement in our football. We could not create many scoring chances previously, but now we do which is a good thing. We tried our best to score as many as possible,” Moushumi said.
Match statistics say Bangladesh had 33 shots on target against Kyrgyzstan, yet they only won the game 2-1 and those two goals were the result of fumbles by Kyrgyzstan’s goalkeeper.
There were more than 10,000 spectators who turned up for the match on Friday, and even though they left with the taste of victory, they perhaps wanted to see more goals from the home team.
Moushumi, when asked, said they were sorry for not being more lethal in front of goal.
“If people came to see us score more goals, we are sorry. I would say we played very well and played very attacking football. You can’t score from every opportunity in football, however, if our finishing was a bit better, we would have scored more.”