Hosts Bangladesh will seek a victory when they meet Sri Lanka in their 2nd and last Group A match on Sunday to reach the semifinals of the six-team Bangabandhu International Gold Cup Football Tournament.
The match will kick off at 5pm at the Bangabandhu National Stadium here.
Palestine have already reached the semifinals as the Group A champions with all-win run. Bangladesh and Sri Lanka will battle for the remaining semifinal berth from Group A as both the teams lost to Palestine by equal 0-2 goal margin.
Sri Lanka displayed an amazing football in their first group match as they kept Palestine at bay for 90 minutes. All the credit goes to their defenders and goalkeeper Herath who successfully saved the castle till opponent captain Mohamoud Abuwarda and forward Khaled Salem scored one goal each in the stoppage time.
On the other hand, Bangladesh wasted many scoring chances against Palestine in their first match. Despite having better ball possession and attacking percentages, the hosts failed to score any goal in the match. Forwards Khaled Salem and Layth Kharoub netted one goal each for Palestine.
Bangladesh might face another trouble in the must-win match if their captain Jamal Bhuiyan misses the game due to injury. Jamal got hamstring injuries during the first match against Palestine and is not cent percent fit for Sunday’s match.
Bangladesh booters made their practice session at Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club ground on Saturday morning without their captain Jamal.
“We rested Jamal on Saturday. He isn’t cent percent fit, he is still recovering. But we’re optimistic about him, let’s see,” said Team Manager Satyajit Das Rupu.
While asking about Jamal’s availability, Head Coach Jamie Day replied, “We are not sure about him [Jamal]. It depends on him.”
About the match, Jamie Day said, “Preparations are good. Obviously, we’re eyeing a win against Sri Lanka.”
About his present situation, captain Jamal Bhuiyan said, “The probability of my playing is now 75 percent. Still, there’s pain and I’m facing difficulties with the leg movement. I’ll try to run again on Sunday morning. If I don’t feel pain, I’ll play.”
Bangladesh is 187th in the FIFA Rankings while Sri Lanka are 205th.
In their last match, Bangladesh beat Sri Lanka by 1-0 goal in the 13th South Asian Games Football at the Dasharath Rangasala Stadium in Kathmandu.
Bangladesh National Football team: Shahidul Alam Sohel, Ashraful Islam Rana, Anisur Rahman, Topu Barman, Sushanto Tripura, Yeasin Khan, Rahmat Mia, Rayhan Hasan, Riyadul Hasan, Monjurur Rahman Manik, Rabiul Hasan, Saad Uddin, Mamunul Islam Mamun, Jamal Bhuiyan, Sohel Rana, Manik Hossain Mollah, Mahbubur Rahman Sufil, Towhidul Alam Sabuz, Mohammad Ibrahim, Motin Miah, Foysal Ahmed Fahim, Arifur Rahman, Rakib Hossain.