On Monday afternoon, the team will board a plane to depart for Vietnam.
Since longtime head coach Golam Rabbani Choton and technical director Paul Smalley stepped down three months ago, the national age-group women’s teams have not participated in a competition since then.
“I feel no pressure [with the absence of Choton and Smalley] because it has been my profession which is always challenging, and I have been enjoying my roles,” Litu stated at a press conference held at BFF House yesterday. “I have been enjoying my roles.”
In order to get to the second round, Bangladesh had to win their matches against Singapore and Turkmenistan. They will now compete against Australia, Vietnam, and the Philippines, all of which are strong nations. Two teams will move on to the final round consisting of eight teams, which will be hosted by Indonesia and include direct competition between Japan, North Korea, China, and the host nation.
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-16 Women’s Championships, which has now been upgraded to a U-17 competition, saw Bangladesh advance to the finals on two separate occasions.
Captain Ruma Akter projected an air of unshakeable assurance. She stated that “we have been working hard since the completion of the first round and trying to play the way we want to play against Australia and Vietnam because our goal is to qualify for the third round by winning all of our matches.” “We have been working hard since the completion of the first round and trying to play the way we want to play against Australia and Vietnam.”
On the other hand, the head coach Litu did not let his optimism get the best of him.
You are aware that Australia, Vietnam, and the Philippines are currently ranked second, fifth, and seventh, respectively, whereas Bangladesh is currently placed 29th. This group of young women does not have the same level of experience as players such as Maria Manda, Monica Chakma, Sanjida Akhter, and others who have competed in the championships finals on two separate occasions.
“Despite that, this team has not performed poorly. I don’t believe that they are going to let us down.”
In past AFC U-16 Qualifiers, Bangladesh had achieved victories over both Vietnam and the Philippines. In the final round of the competition in 2019, they fought to a 2-2 draw against significantly stronger opponents from Australia. In the final round of the competition in 2017, they were defeated by Australia 2-1.
The match between Bangladesh and Vietnam is on September 20.
The Philippines and Bangladesh will square off on September 22.
On September 24th, Australia will compete against Bangladesh.