Depleted Bangladesh up against Oman today
A depleted Bangladesh football team will look for another defensive display in the World cup and Asian Cup Qualifiers as they face Oman in their final group match at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha today, with the match kicking off at 11:10pm (BST).
The men in red and green largely displayed good defensive discipline in the previous two matches against Afghanistan and India, except for a few late mistakes which led them to concede one against Afghanistan -- a brilliant strike from Amir Sharifi -- and two against India, with Sunil Chhetri scoring both those goals.
The focus in today's match will still be on keeping the defence unbroken as long as they can against Oman, who sit 104 places above Bangladesh in FIFA ranking.
Bangladesh are missing nine of the 11 players who started the reverse fixture in Muscat in 2019 which Bangladesh lost 4-1, with Mohammad Ibrahim and Riyadul Hasan Rafi the two players available from that starting eleven.
Having eked out a 1-1 draw against Afghanistan and conceding a 2-0 defeat against India recently, the focus for the Bangladesh team is giving their best regardless of the result.
"It's a tough fixture against a far superior team with us missing many players, so all I can ask is that they give their best. [I'm] Just looking for another good performance from the players that are selected," Bangladesh coach Jamie Day told The Daily Star yesterday.
Since the match against India on June 7, the 41-year-old coach has worked on defensive organisation of the team, showing the players how to launch quick counterattacks and keep ball possession.
"We need to improve that [to have ball possession] but it's not easy against far better players but we will try that's all I can ask of them," said Day.
Echoing the sentiment of the coach, defender Tapu Barman, who is likely to wear the captain's armband in this match, said, "If we can give our best collectively, we can hope for good performance but it is tough to resist a strong team like Oman, who can attack quickly from the flanks. They have tall and good players in number 9 and number 10 positions," Tapu said. "We haven't conceded any goals in the first half against Afghanistan and India and even against Oman in the away match. So we will try to keep that momentum to not concede goals in the first half."