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Bangladesh face tough test against Pakistan
Bangladesh coach Jamie Day said on Wednesday that despite making a winning start in the 12th SAFF Championship his charges would face a tough challenge against Pakistan in their second Group A match today.
The match will kick-off at 7:00pm and Bangladesh Television and Channel 9 will live telecast the match from the Bangabandhu National Stadium.
Both teams made winning start in the competition on Tuesday.
Pakistan beat Nepal by 2-1 goals on their return to international football after a gap of three years while hosts Bangladesh outplayed Bhutan by 2-0.
This will be the first time that Bangladesh and Pakistan will face each other after a gap of five years.
The last time the two teams met it was in the 2013 SAFF Championship in Nepal where Pakistan prevailed over Bangladesh by 2-1 goals.
This will be a crucial match for both the teams as the winner of this match will almost guarantee their place in the semi-finals of the competition.
If today’s other group match between Nepal and Bhutan ends in a draw then the winners of the Bangladesh and Pakistan match will confirm their place in the last eight.
Bangladesh and Pakistan met 17 times previously with each side winning on six occasions and the other four matches ended in draws.
‘It’s going to be tough game against a good side. They [Pakistan] have some good European-based players,’ said Day on Wednesday.
‘Physically they are very strong and they have the gathered confidence going into tomorrow [today] after winning the first game.’
Day urged his charges to give their level best to gain full three points against their South Asian neighbours.
‘We need to perform to our level best if we want to get some points from the game. We have to play with good standard to get something from it.’
The English coach cancelled his scheduled training s on Wednesday evening to give his charges some recovery time but the players did some gym session in the evening.
Day added that the Pakistani players were ahead of his charges in terms of their physical ability but overall Bangladesh were a better side.
‘Pakistan are stronger than us but it doesn’t mean they are better team than us.’
Pakistan’s Brazilian head coach Jose Antonio Nogueira said they will take the field for full three points.
‘Playing against home side is always difficult and Bangladesh proved that they are tough opponents,’ Nogueira said.
‘But it is a must win match for both Bangladesh and Pakistan as the winners will almost qualify for the semi-finals. So we are going to the field with the aim of earning full three points.’