Dhaka, Sept 3 (UNB) - The coaches and players of all the participating teams are eager to give their best in the field during the seven-nation 12th SAFF Suzuki Cup 2018 beginning at Bangabandhu National Stadium here Tuesday to bring glory for their nations.
Pakistan will play Nepal in the opening match at 4pm while hosts Bangladesh will lock horns with Bhutan in the opening day’s 2nd match at 7pm at the same venue.
Addressing a pre-match conference at the BFF House on Monday, Bangladesh Coach Jamie Day said, “For the last four months, we’ve been focusing on the tournament and toured Qatar, Korea and Indonesia. The boys are fully prepared for the challenges. We want to play a good brand of football.”
“We’re the hosts and people have huge expectations upon the team but we are not taking any pressure. We want to play our best football against Bhutan in the opener. We are not thinking about any revenge or something like that. We are focused to play match by match and move forward,” he added.
Jamie Day said they will adopt a strategy of a new captain in a new match.
Bangladesh have won one, drew one and lost one against Bhutan in the SAFF Championships till date.
Senior player-cum-defender of Bangladesh team Nasiruddin Chowdhury said, “Bangladesh won the SAFF Championship back in 2003. We want to repeat the feat and rewrite the history and all the players are ready to give more than cent percent in their own yard and in front of their own people.”
Bhutan Head Coach Trevor Morgan said, “Hosts Bangladesh are the favourite in the opener but Bhutan will be relying on the firepower of their young guns. They are roaring to go. Bhutan have gone through hardworking sessions focusing upon playing better football.”
“We want to change the perception of what people think. We will be taking the field to win. There are 17 new players in the squad who are eager to show their prowess. We eye a semifinal slot.” he added.
Bhutanese captain Karma Shedrup said, “Bhutan respects Bangladesh but are not afraid. The team has taken the required preparations for the SAFF Championship and will be fighting till the end. The young team has the firepower to surprise any team and they want to prove their worth in the field.”
Addressing the newsmen, Nepalese coach and former famed booter Bal Gopal Maharjan said Nepal won its first international title in 23 years beating nine-man Bahrain 3-0 in the final of the Bangabandhu Gold Cup at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka in January 2016, eying another jewel in his crown.
“We have not yet won the SAFF title, so why not target the title this time? We have prepared well for the last three months and the conditions and the rivals are known to us. I am satisfied with the player’s response and now we are ready to fight eyeing the title,” he added.
Captain of Nepal Biraj Maharjan said, “Nepal team have a mixture of youth and experienced players and are a confident team believing in their own prowess. We are a bunch of motivated group and the spirit is high. Nepal definitely wants to win the title.”
Brazilian Coach of Pakistan Jose Antonio Nogueira said, “Pakistan has been out of the international circuit for four years and it’s not possible to remove the vacuum out within a short span of time. But the recent proceedings are encouraging as Pakistan beat Nepal in the Asian Games. However, the level is different here but Pakistan looks forward a good show in the tournament. We believe we can reach the knockout stage.”
Pakistan captain Saddam Hossain said, “There are six players who played the last edition of the SAFF Championship and there are some newcomers though Pakistan was out of the international circuit for last few years. But we are not looking back; rather we are looking forward to put a good show and return to the track.”
Coaches and captains of the Maldives and Sri Lanka also said they were well-prepared to show their best performance in the tournament.
No one from India appeared at the press conference.
Toronto, Sep 2 (AP/UNB) — Diego Rossi scored twice and Lee Nguyen and Carlos Vela added goals in Los Angeles FC's 4-2 victory over Toronto FC on Saturday night.
Jozy Altidore scored twice for Toronto (7-14-6).
The first regular-season meeting between the teams was a father-son affair, pitting LAFC coach Bob Bradley against Toronto captain Michael Bradley. Bradley Bowl honors went to Bob, coaching in his 299th career MLS game.
Dhaka, Sept 2 (UNB)– The logo unveiling ceremony and introduction of the sponsors of the seven-nation SAFF Suzuki Cup 2018 International Football Tournament will be held Monday (Sept 3) afternoon at the conference room of the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) here.
The SAFF Suzuki Cup, the biggest soccer festival of the region, will take place in the country’s premier sports venue Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka from September 4 to 15 with participation of seven South Asian countries--Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and hosts Bangladesh.
Hosts Bangladesh, which was placed in Group A of the SAFF Suzuki Cup with Bhutan, Nepal and Pakistan, will play Bhutan in the 2nd match on the opening day (Tuesday) at 7 pm while Pakistan will play Nepal in the opening match at 4 pm on the day.
India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives have been put in Group B of the meet.
Pakistan team arrived in the capital Sunday early hour to compete in the seven-nation meet, followed by Bhutan Sunday noon at 12:10 pm and Nepal on Sunday afternoon at 2:40 pm.
The islanders Sri Lanka was the first foreign team reached Bangladesh last Sunday (August 26) from Asian Games in Indonesia to play FIFA Friendly with Bangladesh in Nilphamari last Wednesday and made an inspirational 1-0 victory over the home country ahead of the biggest soccer festival of the region (SAFF Championship).
Holders India will reach here on Monday (Sept 3) early hour at 12:50 am while the Maldives team due to arrive in the capital on Monday (Sept 3) at 1:45 pm.
Meanwhile, hosts Bangladesh team under supervision English coach Jamie Day, made their first practice session at the games venue Bangabandhu National Stadium Sunday morning for one and half hour with his final squad, which yet to be announced. Bangladesh team, divided in two groups, also played a match in a small ground.
Jamie Day reportedly selected a 20-member final squad of Bangladesh national football team for ensuing SAFF Championship Saturday night after conducting a 12 weeks long training camp and accordingly informed it to the players.
Eight players –Zafor Iqbal, Motin Mia, Rahmat Mia, Abdullah, Anisur Rahman, Majurur Rahman, Mahfuz Hasan Pritom, and Fazle Rabbi—were excluded from the squad while former national skipper Mamunul Islam Mamun, Waly Faisal, Faisal Mahmud, Shahkawat Ronny, Emon Mahmud, Sohel Rana, and Nasiruddin Chowdhury are considered in the team as senior players.
Bangladesh squad: Ashraful Islam Rana, Shahidul Alam Sohel, Topu Barman, Nasiruddin Chowdhury, Bishwanath Ghosh, Tutul Hossain Badsha, Waly Faisal, Susanta Tripura, Masuk Miah Zony, Mamunul Islam Mamun, Emon Mahmud Babu, Faisalo Mahmud, Sohel Rana, Biplu Ahmed, Atiqul Islam Fahad, Jamal Bhuiyan, Shahkawat Hossain Ronny, Mahbubur Rahman Sufil, Saaduddin and Rabiul Hassan.
Dhaka, Sept 01 (UNB) – Pakistan team will arrive in the capital Sunday early hour to compete in the seven-nation SAFF Suzuki Cup 2018 beginning at the Bangabadhu National Stadium here on Tuesday (Sept 4).
Bangladesh, which was placed in Group A of the SAFF Suzuki Cup with Bhutan, Nepal and Pakistan, will play Bhutan in the 2nd match on the opening day (Sept 4) at 7 pm while Pakistan will play Nepal in the opening match at 4 pm. India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives have been put in Group B of the meet.
The islanders Sri Lanka was the first foreign team reached Bangladesh last Sunday from Asain Games in Indonesia to play FIFA Friendly against Bangladesh in Nilphamari on Wednesday, ahead of the biggest soccer festival of the region (SAFF Championship) and made an inspirational 1-0 victory over the home country.
Pakistan, the 2nd foreign team is expected to reach here at 1:30 am local time.
Bhutan will arrive in the capital on Sunday (Sept 2) at 12:10 pm while Nepal team also reach here Sunday at 2:40 pm, followed by the Maldives team on Monday (Sept 3) at 1:45 pm.
Holders India will be the last foreign team to reach here on Tuesday (Sept 4) early hour at 12:50 am.
Dhaka, Sep 1 (UNB) – The draw ceremony of the 5th Bangabandhu Gold Cup International Football Tournament, which will kicks off on October 1, held at a city hotel on Saturday.
Hosts Bangladesh was placed in Group-B along with Philippines and Laos to play in the six-nation tournament while Group-A comprises Nepal, Palestine and Tajikistan.
Although two venues--Bangabandhu National Stadium and Sylhet District Stadium-- were earlier selected to hold the matches, there might a third venue to host the two semifinals.
State Minister for Youth and Sports Biren Sikder, Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) President Kazi Salahuddin, BFF Senior Vice-president Abdus Salam Murshedy, Deputy Minister for Youth and Sports Arif Khan Joy and Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Youth and Sports Zahid Ahsan Russell, among others, were present at the ceremony.