Table toppers will be looking to get at least a draw against inform Nepal in Group A to advance into the semifinals of SAFF Suzuki Cup 2018
Despite winning the first two games against Bhutan and Pakistan, it’s still not certain a semifinal spot for the host nation.
Bangladesh need a win or a draw in today’s group stage final game against Nepal. If they lose, they have to rely on Pakistan vs Bhutan game. If Pakistan manages a win against bottom team Bhutan in today’s first game, then Bangladesh will need nothing except a win.
On the other hand, If Nepal wins today and Pakistan wins against Bhutan, then both of them will go through to the next stage leaving Bengal Tigers out of the competition.
Nepal’s most valuable player in the last match Ananta Tamang said, Bangladesh look tough, but they will beat them to go next round.
Two Nepali strikers Bharat Khawas and Nirajan Khadka who scored against Bhutan coming off the bench as substitutes will be looking to repeat their performance.
Many fatigued players of Bangladesh skipped practice yesterday and they will be refreshed for today’s game. And Injured midfielder Atiqur Rahman also participated in yesterday’s training session.
WHAT MANAGERS SAY:
Bangladesh Head Coach Jamie Day said, despite winning the first two games, they are still not in the semifinal and they don’t want to be carried away.
He also said, Nepal are a very good side and they are going to cause problems for them. They were unlucky against Pakistan but they scored four goals against Bhutan. “We know what’s at stake and we need to play well to go through. It is going to be really tour game.” He added.
Nepal head coach Bal Gopal Maharjan said, Given the potential in the last match, he believes his team can beat any team in the current SAFF championship. “I hope we can show the same performance against the home team.” He added.
HEAD TO HEAD
Bangladesh is facing Nepal for the second time as the host in SAFF Suzuki Cup and they won the previous one in 2003 by a single goal to nil.
This will the 7th meeting between them in SAFF Suzuki Cup. Bangladesh won the first four meetings and Nepal won the last two.
They also have faced each other 18 times before in all competitions. Bangladesh winning 12, Nepal winning 5 and shared just one draw.