Youth hockey team eye semis
Keeping their sights on the semifinals of the AHF Junior Asia Cup to ensure the participation in the FIH Junior World Cup, the Bangladesh under-21 hockey team will start their campaign against hosts Oman on the opening day in Salalah today.
The match will kick off at 10:00pm (Bangladesh time)
The men in red and green are in Pool B alongside strong opponents such as Malaysia and South Korea as well as Uzbekistan.
Bangladesh had previously beaten their Omani counterparts four times (7-0, 4-0, 5-4 and 3-2) during the 2014 and 2015 AHF Junior Asia Cups.
On the back of two weeks' preparation in India, the Bangladesh team got three days to acclimatise with the hot and humid weather in Salalah. The artificial turf will host its first international tournament since its installation seven years ago.
"Definitely we will go there to win the match as we don't have any alternative. The boys are fully focused on the match and they gained a lot of confidence after playing 10 practice matches in India, winning seven and losing only two," head coach Mamunur Rashid told The Daily Star over phone from Salalah yesterday.
"The challenge is the artificial turf, which is slow compared to those in Bangladesh and India. So we will have to adopt our game plan. The positive thing is that the boys are now much more comfortable playing on this pitch after three days of training here," the coach said, adding that they have also watched Oman going 4-0 and 5-0 down against Pakistan and India respectively in two separate practice matches of 40 minutes.