Bangladesh and Afghanistan will play the first of two FIFA Friendly matches at the Bashundhara Kings Arena today, with Bangladesh hoping to defeat Afghanistan for the first time.
The game, which starts at 5:00 p.m., will be the first time in Bangladeshi football history that an international match is hosted by a sports private club.
The central Asian country has defeated Bangladesh twice in the last eight matches, with the other six matchups ending in draws. When these two sides last faced off in a FIFA World Cup qualifier in Doha, Qatar, in 2011, it finished in a 1-1 tie.
With the ultimate goal being October’s World Cup Pre-qualifiers versus Maldives, the hosts, who will play their first match since an outstanding SAFF Championship campaign two months ago, want to exhibit the same passion and performance in the two matches against the Afghans.
Eight games have been played between Bangladesh and the Lions of Khorasan, with two losses and six draws. The last of the games took place in Doha, Qatar, during the 2021 World Cup qualifiers. The result was a 1-1 tie.
Coach Javier Cabrera of Bangladesh said that his team wants to build on their success from the SAFF Championship and prove to everyone that they are a developing team.
“The guys have shown a really high attitude throughout training. I’m very pleased with the team’s caliber and training level. The Spaniard said during yesterday’s pre-game press conference at the Kings Arena, “It’s an exciting challenge ahead of us and an opportunity for us to show all of our fans that we can continue the performance we did in SAFF Championship.”
Captain Jamal Bhuiyan, who came back from his club assignment in Argentina only a few days before, agreed with the coach when he said that they would know they are headed in the right direction if they perform well against a formidable Afghanistan team.
“While some Afghanistani athletes play in Malaysia, Indonesia, and India, the majority compete in Europe. They are a formidable squad, which helps us since we play the Maldives in our major game,” the midfield player said.
The captain of Bangladesh said that they would have an edge over other locations in Bangladesh in terms of audience support since they will be playing at the Kings Arena.
“I’m not sure when we last performed in Dhaka. It’s a huge deal for everyone, therefore I’m excited to play in Dhaka and for the first international match at the Bashundhara Kings Arena.
“The Kings Arena is fantastic because it puts the spectators much closer to the players. Thus, we will sense the atmosphere, which is a good thing,” said the captain of Bangladesh.
In order to prepare for these two games as well as one against the Philippines the following week, Afghanistan’s coach Abdullah Al Mutairi, who was previously the coach of Nepal when the Himalayan team drew 1-1 against Bangladesh at the 2021 SAFF Championship, took his men to Dhaka on August 26. Like his Bangladeshi counterpart, Mutairi said that his team’s goal is to qualify for the World Cup by facing Mongolia in the Preliminaries next month.
“Don’t ask me who will win,” the national of Kuwait said. “These games are only friendly ones. Our purpose for coming here is to get ready for the World Cup pre-qualifiers.I made 80–85% of the player changes when I became leadership. Thus, we’ll use these two games, particularly the first one tomorrow, to assess our collective performance.