POST TIME: 15 October, 2019 10:47:41 AM
Bangladesh vie India in a prestigious World Cup qualifier today
Bangladesh vie India in a prestigious World Cup

Bangladesh vie India in a prestigious World Cup qualifier today

Bangladesh’s national football team captain Jamal Bhuyan (C) takes part in a training session with teammates ahead of their World Cup 2022 and the 2023 AFC Asian Cup joint qualifying football match against India, at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata yesterday. AFP Photo

After a outstanding performance against Qatar in home rejuvenated Bangladesh will take on host India in Group E match of FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar and Asia Cup 2023 joint qualifiers round-2 scheduled to be held today at Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan stadium (Salt Lake Stadium) in Kolkata.

Ahead of the match, a press conference was held yesterday at a hotel in Kolkata with both the teams expressing their hopes  on winning the match.

The match will kick off at 8.00 pm (BST). Bangla TV will  telecast the match live.

The euphoria has captured the attention of the fans of both footballing nations of Bangladesh and India with the  epic encounter between the two neighbours, the stage is set for another thrilling battle for supremacy between them.  

This time also the situation is indifferent, though none of the teams India or Bangladesh have any chances to cross the preliminary stage but the sentiment of the fans of both sides that the joy of the winners will know no bounds.

However, the reality is that, for recent times India have progressed a lot than Bangladesh when the former’s FIFA ranking is 104 and the latter are lying on 187.

Bangladesh realistically will start the match as underdogs and the hosts will play as favoruites when both the sides played their respective big match facing the World Cup 2022 hosts Qatar but India did an unexpected result with halting the giants to a  goalless draw in Doha and Bangladesh suffered 2-0 defeat at home ground. Bangladesh also went down to Afghanistan 1-0, while Oman edged past India 2-1.  

So, for both sides, the previous match against Qatar might be an inspiration but it is more boosting up for India, as India made a tremendous draw and Bangladesh though conceded defeat, but fought bravely, specially their offensive attitude was very impressive after the break.

About today’s match most of the pundit think that India will play with some advantage of their own ground and will be supported by more than 85,000 crowds and on the ground their big advantage will be the vital performer Sunil Chhetri.

Sunil Chhetri, now the best striker in South Asian region, is the highest scorer for Indian national team scoring 72 goals. He also scored one goal against Oman in their first match in the ongoing competition.

Ashrafuddin Ahmed Chunnu, one of the all time stars of Bangladesh national football team, who has vast experiences playing against India, when put across his comments about today’s match said that it would be 50-50 chances for both sides.

“Bangladesh and India always counted as arch-rivals when the two nations meet in any football match, many of us may tell that India are higher ranked than Bangladesh but I like to say that ranking does not matter but tussle on the field is matter when two nations play each other,” Chunnu said.

 “I think the chances are 50-50, if you recollect the memories of the past when we played or after our next generations have been playing against India, though most of the times India won and the results are the main, but every match was win-win situation for both sides and in most of the matches we had better domination but unfortunately conceded defeats.”

Meanwhile, Bangladesh head coach Jamie Day is confident for another good fight against India, depending on the youth-banding team and utilising chances as he said, ’Obviously, India have to play well to win. But I believe that if we play well tomorrow, we may get a good result.’    

“We have to play well, we have to take chances. Most of our players are from the Under-23 team. They have to take chances to score goal in tomorrow’s game against India. We have worked hard on this for last three or four months,’ added Day when he was speaking at the pre-match press conference at a hotel in Kolkata yesterday.

Bangladesh captain Jamal Bhuiyan termed the game as a big one and they will play a pressure-free game compare to India.

“This is a big game but the pressure is on the Indian team. We are not feeling any pressure at the moment. Our entire squad is very excited and looking for tomorrow’s game,” said Jamal.

India’s confident coach Igor Stimac endorsed that his charges will be in more pressure, though, proved themselves as underdogs against favourite sides in their last two games.

“Our players have already proved themselves. We have shown that we can play against anyone. In the first two games, we were not favorites. But, now the whole pressure is on us. We have to win this game,’ said the Croatian, who guided his national side as coach to qualify the FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil.

It will be the 30th meeting between Bangladesh and India. In previous 29 matches Bangladesh could manage only three wins, drew 15 and India have won rest of the matches.