Bangladesh national team will face visiting Sri Lanka in the opening match of the Bangabandhu Gold Cup International Football Tournament at the Shams-Ul-Huda Stadium in Jessore today (Friday), reports UNB.
The eight-team fourth edition opening match of the tournament will start at 2:45 pm. Channel 9 will telecast live all the matches as right holders.
On the eve of the match day, Bangladesh national team head coach AKM Maruful Haque said, “Our target is to be the champion in the tournament.”
Terming his side as a balanced team, Maruful hoped that Bangladesh would play as the best team in this tournament.
The coach expressed his optimism to clinch the title at a pre-match press conference at a hotel in Jessore Thursday. Bangladesh team’s senior key player Zahid Hasan Ameli was also present in the function.
On the other hand, visiting Sri Lanka team head coach Sampath Perera said, “We will try to make a good result in the tournament.”
The coach believes that they have their mental advantage as they played in the semifinal of the recently concluded South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship.
The coach informed that they included eight players who played in the SAFF Championship.
Hosts Bangladesh have been seeded in Group-A with defending champion Malaysia, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
Group-B comprises Bahrain, the Maldives, Cambodia and Bangladesh Olympic Team (Bangladesh Under-23 team).
Jessore will host the first four group stage matches, including the opening match, while the remaining matches will be held at Bangabandhu National Stadium (BNS) in Dhaka.
In the remaining group matches, Bangladesh national team will play against Malaysia and Nepal respectively on January 12 and 14, both at 6:30 pm at BNS.
Earlier, in the third edition of the tournament in 2015 hosts Bangladesh finished runners-up losing to Malaysia by 2-3 goals.
Bangladesh Squad: Sahidul Alam, Jamal Bhuiyan, Yeasin Khan, Yeamin Ahmed Chowdhury Munna, Mamunul Islam Mamun (Captain), Rayhan Hasan, Monaem Khan Raju, Nasir Uddin Chowdhury, Sohel Rana, Shakawat Hossain Rony, Sheikh Alamgir Kabir Rana, Rasel Mahmud, Zahid Hossain, Jahid Hasan Ameli, Hemonta Vinsent Biswas, Topu Barman, Atiqur Rahaman Meshu, Waly Faisal, Mithun Chowdhury, Ashraful Islam Rana, Jewel Rana, Nasirul Islam Nasir and Nabib Newaj Zibon. --- Pizush