Bangladesh national football team will leave for Oman tonight for a 10-day training camp followed by the World Cup qualifying fixture against the hosts on November 14.
The Red and Greens are at the bottom of Group E with a single point from three games, but a dominating draw against India in Kolkata last month following a close 2-0 defeat against Qatar at home lifted the spirit of the footballers and everyone concerned.
Hence Jamie Day’s charges will leave for Oman with a renewed belief that they can take the fight to a side 100 places above them in world ranking at their own backyard.
“Oman are way ahead of us in FIFA ranking. But we expect to perform the way we performed against Qatar and India. If we don’t concede early goals, the game will be competitive,” team manager Satyajit Das Rupu told journalists at a press conference at the Bangladesh Football Federation house yesterday.
The team will leave tonight while the foreign coaching staff, including head coach Jamie Day who is currently holidaying in USA, will join the team on Monday morning.
Captain Jamal Bhuiyan, who is currently in Barcelona to do commentary on Barcelona’s La Liga match against Levante, will join the same day while young defender Yeasin Arafat will join the team on November 11 after completing his AFC U-19 Qualifiers campaign in Bahrain.
There is only one change to the squad from the match against India, with Rahmartganj midfielder Rakib Hossain replacing Abahani’s Jewel Rana.
Since the match against India on October 15, the team will train for the first time together in Oman on Monday. However, majority of the players of the 23-member team were involved with Bashudnhara Kings and Chattogram Abahani in the Sheikh Kamal International Club Cup over the last two weeks. The others, mostly from Abahani, started training at the club a few days ago.
“Oman will be a very difficult prospect for us. But with the belief we gained from the match against India, we will be full of confidence. We will not go there to return with a defeat,” first-choice goalkeeper Ashraful Islam Rana said, adding that during the rest days the players followed fitness regime and diet according to the coach’s prescription.
“The match against Oman will be tougher than the one against Qatar as we will play away to Oman. They are one of the two best teams in the group. But we will work on set-pieces and finishing in the training sessions as these areas have troubled us,” assistant coach Masud Parvez Kaiser said.
The team is supposed to play a warm-up match on November 9 against a top Omani club as part of their preparation.