Dhaka: Even though the matches of Group F of the AFC U16 Women’s Championship 2019 qualifiers began on September 15, Bangladesh will take to the field for the first time today against Bahrain.
The match between Bangladesh and Bahrain will kick-off at 3:30pm (Bangladesh time) at the BSSSM Mostofa Kamal Stadium in Kamlapur, Dhaka and will be webcast live on the BFF website.
Ahead of the game, the Bangladesh team looks ready and raring to square off against a side that sits 32 places above the Red and Greens in the FIFA rankings. Bangladesh is currently ranked 112 whereas Bahrain is ranked 80.
The U16 girls, however, are unfazed by the seeming difference on paper.
Skipper Maria Manda said, “We’ll go into the match to register 3 points. Qualifying for the finals is our target.”
Head Coach Golam Rabbani Choton said, “It doesn’t matter what the stats or the rankings say. We’ll take each game as it comes and try to play our best football.”
“Ranking is not our concern. Apart from Lebanon, all the other teams sit above us. That can’t demotivate us to play our game. We’ll focus our strength and then we’ll see what our opponents throw at us. At the end, it’s 11 versus 11 on the pitch and anything can happen in football,” the coach added.
Notably, Bangladesh were the unbeaten champions of this qualifiers tournament two years back in 2016.
Asked whether a similar feat is possible of not, Choton said, “Nothing is impossible. But it isn’t going to be easy. All the teams in the group are good and we’ll have to display our best football to qualify for the finals.”