Bangladesh will confront Laos in the first Bangamata Women's Under-19 International Gold Cup final at the Bangabandhu National Stadium today (Friday). The girls in red and green have been a force to be reckoned with in this tournament.
In all the matches they played with great supremacy over their opponent. Their attacking brand of football pleased everyone. Ball possession, shots on goal, passing; they have been a dominant force in every department of the game. However, the one weakness which these young girls have in them is lack of finishing abilities. In their opening match of group ‘B’ Golam Rabbani Choton's charges won 2-0 against the United Arab Emirates, in their second match they edged past Kyrgyzstan by 2-1 and in the semifinal they again scored 2-0 against Mongolia. In all three matches, they had lots of shots on goal in contrast to their opponents. However, the score-lines might suggest otherwise.
The girls in red and green had 20 shots on goal on average in the 3 matches they played. However, they failed to capitalize those chances into goals. They do all the difficult parts of cutting inside the box, dribbling past defenders, creating clear cut chances but when it comes to pulling the trigger they misfire.
Therefore, ahead of today’s final, girls will need to improve that aspect of their game.
Bangladesh’s opponent Laos in contrast were scoring for fun on their road to final. They put 5 past Mongolia, 6 past Tajikistan and put 7 goals past Kyrgyzstan in the semi final. Scoring a staggering 18 goals in three matches, the opponent is undoubtedly a big threat for Bangladesh. Many people might tag them as favorites. However, Golam Rabbani Choton thinks past experience will give Bangladesh the edge over Laos.
Head Coach of Bangladesh Golam Rabbani Choton said his team is confident enough about winning the game.
“We will be the champions. Laos are the best team of this tournament, but they are not invincible,” he said in a pre-match presser at BFF on Thursday.
While asking about injured Sirat Jahan Shopna and Krishna Rani Sarker, Choton replied, “Krishna is likely to play, but Sirat Jahan Shopna will miss the game.”
Asked about preparations, Choton said, “We have some special plan for Laos. We worked on our weakness.”
Bangladesh skipper Mishrat Jahan Mousumi said her team is ready and motivated to win the final of this inaugural tournament and keep the trophy at home. “We are ready and motivated for the final. We hope to be champion,” said Mousumi.
On the other hand, head coach of Laos Vongmisay Soubouakham said; his team would put up a tough competition against the home team.
“They [Bangladesh] are one of the strongest opponents of this tournament. It is difficult to win the final match against them. But we can beat them,” he said.
So, everyone is upbeat ahead of the final. Only time will tell who will emerge as champions.