Forwards lose their shooting boots | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, May 19, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, May 19, 2021

Forwards lose their shooting boots

National forward Mahbubur Rahman Sufil shot wide from the top of the box after a quick one-two but left-back Rahmat Mia finished clinically to spark celebrations at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

It was not against the backdrop of a competitive or practice match. It was instead a training session for the national football team players, who were tasked with shooting past dummies.

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However, the training was not all too pleasant for goalkeeping coach Les Cleevely.

The bulky coach even had to demonstrate to national forwards how to play the perfect forward pass for strikers in and around the danger zone, akin to a training session for budding players at a tender age.

Whereas forwards Sufil, Mehedi Hasan Royal, Suman Reza and midfielders like  Sohel Rana and Mohammad Abdullah could hardly keep their shots on the target, defenders like Rahmat, Kazi Tariq Raihan and Riyadul Hasan Rafi proved more accurate and finished smartly in the drill.

Bangladesh know they must score some goals in the World Cup Qualifying matches against Afghanistan and India if they, as head coach Jamie Day wants, are to get some points. In match situations, obviously forwards have to do the job up front.

"The matches in Qatar are going to be tough. It is not possible to win if someone gives only fifty per cent. We all have to give hundred per cent if we want to win," captain Jamal Bhuiyan told reporters after sweating it out for nearly two-and-a-half hours.

Asked how they could win matches when forwards could hardly hit the target, win the matches where the forwards could Jamal said: "I don't know about others but I shot on target four times out of five shots. We won't get points if we can't score goals."

Goalkeeper Anisur Rahman Zico believes Afghanistan and India are ahead of Bangladesh but was confident of doing something good as Bangladesh have experience against them.

"They are ahead of us but all of us here are the best performers of the league. I hope everyone is fit and confident because we are discussing among ourselves and I felt everyone wants to do something in the three matches," said Zico. "We played against them before. We lost 0-1 to Afghanistan and drew 1-1 with India. We more or less have an idea about their players and we will get more information in the coming days." 

While Jamal Bhuiyan wants to judge the strong and weak points of his side by playing two practice matches before the main competition, the Bangladesh Football Federation has yet to confirm the date of departure for Qatar as well as dates for the practice matches. India are supposed to reach Doha today to avail the facilities in Qatar ahead of practice matches.

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