Bangla-desh will be wary of any complacency when they take on Cambodia in the second match of the AFC Challenge Cup Group A qualifying round at the Bangabandhu National Stadium today at 6:00pm.
In their two previous meetings with Cambodia, Bangladesh had won 2-1 in the inaugural AFC Challenge Cup in 2006 and drawn 1-1 in Nehru Cup in 2007. Alfaz Ahmed and Zahid Hasan Emily scored for Bangladesh while Rithy Chan reduced the margin for the Cambodians on the first occasion. In the Nehru Cup match, Bangladesh were leading 1-0 until the 89th minute but Keo Kosal restored parity in the 90th minute taking the match away from Bangladesh’s grip.
Bangladesh coach Dido expressed dissatisfaction with his preparations at the official press conference on Saturday. ‘Frankly speaking, I could not make an ideal preparation, but I have to move ahead with what I have, the four weeks of preparation was too inadequate with a series of injuries to key players,’ said Dido.
The Brazilian urged the supporters to cheer on the team. ‘My message is, you stay behind the national team, it is very important for progress,’ opined Dido.
Dido said he has worked on the weakness of Bangladesh players assembling in the same place forgetting their positions. ‘Though the time was not enough but I have tried to work on it, and believe that improvement is there, I have also talked with the players about losing the rhythm in the dying minutes, it is a physical weakness and can be overcome with fitness, ’ said the Brazilian.
Dido ruled out any pressure on the team. ‘I don’t have any pressure and so are my players, I have tried to get rid of the word “pressure”, I believe in hard work and am not focussed on any opponents, I will try to win with the best performance,’ said Dido.
Dido clarified the position of forward Emily and midfielder Zahid. ‘The doctors have cleared them to play and it is up to me whether I play them or not, I hope that they will be playing as without them, I may not be able to do something that I was supposed to do,’ said the coach.
Dido was cautious about his tactics in the first match. ‘I have still to decide on my strategy, what I know is that attack is the best form of defence and I will to the same not only against Cambodia but also against all other opponents,’ Dido added.
Bangladesh skipper Aminul assured of giving more than hundred per cent. ‘The equation is very simple, we have to win all the three matches to win the group – the first is the quarter-final, the second is the semi-final and the third is the final. We will try our best to win all the three,’ said the reliable goalkeeper.
Bangladesh meet Myanmar on Tuesday and Macau on Thursday.