Phnom Penh: The first international friendly match of Bangladesh national team of 2019 is going to be held on March 9th at the Phnom Penh Olympic Stadium, Cambodia at 5:30pm Bangladesh time. The highly anticipated tier-1 friendly match will be a test for Jamal Bhuiyan and the young stars of Bangladesh.
In the last 3 times that Bangladesh and Cambodia had faced each other, Bangladesh Came out on top on 2 occasions with the other match ending as a draw. However, Cambodia national team won against Bangladesh U-23 team in the Bangabandhu Gold Cup back in 2016. Cambodia is 20 points ahead of Bangladesh in the FIFA world ranking as of February, 2019.
The Bangladesh national team Flew out to Phnom Penh, Cambodia on the 6th and training sessions began from 7th march.
Head Coach of Bangladesh, Jamie Day, has taken the friendly match against Cambodia as a test for the young players and is determined to give a good performance. “It’s a young squad with some experience which is needed. And I hope that it’s a squad that can take the Cambodia game into the U23 tournament as well,” said Jamie Day when asked about his thoughts about the match. After the training session in a short interview, Jamie Day talked about how the players are coping with the conditions of Cambodia.
“The weather conditions are different from home but the players performed well in training grounds. It’s a common issue for any team playing outside of their home grounds but the players are determined to give their best,” said a hopeful Jamie day. Newly-appointed Bangladesh goalkeeping coach Dean Kenneth May has also travelled with the national team to Cambodia. He said that his primary objective for the upcoming friendly match is to prepare them and give guidance for any shortcoming they might have. “We only have 3 days,” May said, adding, “Our focus is to get the players ready for the match.” May added that they’ll be working on integrating different training methods so that the players have a good understanding of the work. May also wants to nurture the players in a supportive environment where mistakes are treated as opportunities for growth.
Players were given a rest before starting the first training session on 7th march due to jetlag, nevertheless team spirit was high and they were on a good mood. The hot and humid weather of Cambodia is a little challenging for the players. Following the training session, Mohammad Nabib Newaz Ziban said, “The weather is so hot here and we were tired from the long journey.” The Bangladeshi forward further added, “There is still time to get used to the new conditions.” Ashraful Islam Rana, goalkeeper of Bangladesh team, was excited to work with the new Goalkeeping coach. “He is very tactical in his approach to the game and we are adapting to his ways slowly. He is also focused on the upcoming match and is assisting with the match related issues.” Ashraful also mentioned about the heat and turf pitch that might affect the match.
Overall, Bangladesh national team is confident about winning against their Cambodian counterparts. A victory will certainly give the players the momentum they need to perform better in the upcoming tournaments especially with the FIFA World Cup qualifiers beginning in June.
The Cambodia-Bangladesh match is slated to kick-off at 5:30pm Bangladesh time at the Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on March 9, Saturday.
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