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2022 World Cup qualifiers: Bangladesh confident ahead of India, Afghanistan ties

Bangaldesh are currently bottom of the group with only one point to show for from five matches….

Bangladesh head coach Jamie Day cut a confident figure as his team geared up for the upcoming 2022 World Cup-2023 Asian Cup joint qualifiers set to be held at Qatar next month in a centraised fashion. 

The Bengal Tigers are set to play the final three matches of the group in Doha against Afghanistan (June 3), India (June 7) and Oman (June 15). The 32-member provisional squad is currently training at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium in Dhaka and are scheduled to fly out to Qatar on May 21 or 22. 

What did Jamie Day say?

“Our players will work extremely hard to get victories against their best teams. I think, for us the situation is extremely tough, but we are looking forward to getting positive results in three games,” Day said after the first day of training on Monday. 

It must be noted that Bangladesh have only one point from five games in Group E so far and that point came against India, courtesy a 1-1 draw at Kolkata in 2019.

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But the Englishman is confident of finishing the group with positive results against India, Afghanistan and Oman.

“We will play against teams who are higher ranked than us…So, it seems a tough game but we are positive… If everyone in the team doesn’t play nine or 10 out of 10, then in that game they [Bangladesh] will not win,” he added. 

India Bangladesh

India a similar team to Bangladesh?

Interestingly, on Sunday, Bangladesh captain Jamal Bhuyan had boldly stated that they can beat India and Afghanistan. Bangladesh are currently ranked 164th in the world while India are 105th and Afghanistan are 149th.

“I have said before that the footballers of India and Afghanistan are like us. We expect a good fight and a good match. I think we can win against them because they are not (that great a) team,” he said on Sunday. 

Day backed his captain’s statement but did make an effort to put his comments in perspective.

“If the players say they will lose both games, then you [journalists] will say it is negative. So, obviously, we want to win all three games.”

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Bangladesh fit and raring to go!

While India are set to fly out to Qatar without holding a training camp, Bangladesh have had the luxury of holding a camp and Day has no concerns over his team’s fitness. 

“Their fitness level is fine. I don’t think we need to ask any questions about their fitness anymore. Everyone is at the level that we need them to be,” Day said.

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