U-19s take on Maldives today
A spirited Bangladesh are looking forward to registering their first win in the AFC U-19 Championship Qualifiers when they take on South Asian opponents Maldives at the Republican Central Stadium in Dushanbe, Tajikistan today.
The match gets underway at 4:00pm (BST).
The boys in red and green have a mission of qualifying for the final round after 15 years and they made a good start by holding hosts Tajikistan to a creditable goalless draw. The result boosted the confidence of the players to do well in the upcoming matches against Maldives, Uzbekistan and Sri Lanka.
Mahbub Hossain Roxy's charges showed character throughout the 90 minutes of the match against Tajikistan in chilling weather and they never looked to give up despite being put under heavy pressure by the hosts. Roxy wants his charges to emphasise on this area to get the results against other opponents.
“We did not concede any goals either at the early stage of the match and or the dying moments, which used to be a common problem for our teams at any level. I think the boys have developed a fighting attitude after playing the SAFF U-18 Championship and they showed it against Tajikistan,” Roxy told The Daily Star over phone yesterday.
The coach said that his team is relieved to have executed his gameplan on Tuesday, and are serious about the match against Maldives.
“The boys know very well that the draw against Tajikistan will go in vain if they can't post a win against Maldives. They are ready to take the challenge against their South Asian rivals,” the former national player said. “We may have an edge in attitude, speed and strength over Maldives and are favourites on paper, but it will not help notch a win if the boys can't perform on the pitch.”
Though Bangladesh senior team have suffered defeats against their Maldivian counterparts regularly in recent past and the margin of their last defeat was 0-5 in a friendly match in Male, but Bangladesh U-19 team have a good record over the Maldivians. They beat the Maldives U-19s 2-0 in the SAFF U-18 Championship just a month ago.
“Maldives have included seven new players to the squad. On Tuesday they drew against Sri Lanka despite taking the lead twice. They are a good side. At this stage, all teams play for the victory, so they will also come for a win. We will also go there for a victory and I believe we have the capability to beat them,” said Roxy.