• Thursday, Jan 26, 2023
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

Jony ruled out as booters eager to surprise Qatar

  • Published at 05:02 pm September 25th, 2019
Bangladesh team during training Dhaka Tribune/Md Manik

Masuk Mia Jony had anterior cruciate ligament surgery in Dhaka Monday and is likely to be ruled out for more than six months

The residential training camp of the national team ahead of the Qatar and India qualifiers started Wednesday with the absence of Bashundhara Kings’ midfielder Masuk Mia Jony, who has been ruled out from competitive fixtures this year.

Jony couldn’t play Bangladesh’s opening Group E encounter against Afghanistan on September 10 as he tore his right knee ligament. 

Jony had anterior cruciate ligament surgery in Dhaka Monday and is likely to be ruled out for more than six months.

He will subsequently miss most of the 2022 World Cup and 2023 Asian Cup qualifying fixtures, which will run until June next year.

Sohel Rana started against the Afghans in the absence of Jony. 

After reporting to the camp, the Abahani Limited midfielder said, “We will definitely miss Jony in midfield because he played many recent international matches, and also performed well. Now it will be challenging for us, the midfielders, and there will be more responsibility on our shoulders. We have to play better.”

Bangladesh will host Qatar at Bangabandhu National Stadium on October 10 but Sheikh Russel Krira Chakra forward Biplu Ahmed, who was the first to report to the camp at the capital’s Fars Hotel Wednesday evening, is not afraid of the Asian champion.

“Nobody believed that we (U-23 Olympic team) could beat Qatar in the Asian Games last year but we did it. We will get the support of our home fans here so I hope we can produce a good display against them,” said Biplu, adding that they are waiting to give a surprise to the much higher-ranked opponent.

Biplu started behind the striker against Afghanistan before being replaced by Rabiul Islam early in the second half. 

Rabiul, who earlier scored one each against Cambodia and Laos this year, said, “Qatar are no doubt a big team but we are hopeful because the venue is at home. We will try our best to get at least a point against Qatar and not to make the same mistake we did against Afghanistan. I’m always hungry for goals and try to utilize the chance whenever I get.”

Goalkeeper Ashraful Rana was also keen to rectify his mistakes in the big games. 

“It was unfortunate that I couldn’t save the goal despite trying my best,” said Rana, admitting that they could have done better against Afghanistan, and expects tougher tests against Qatar and India next month. 

“We want to rectify our previous mistakes. Definitely, the Qatar match will be more difficult. They will dominate us in the game but we will also be prepared.”

Young defender Yeasin Arafat also could not join the camp as he is currently in Nepal for the Saff U-18 Championship.

All the above mentioned players believe that the two friendlies against Bhutan on September 29 and October 3 will help the team get better before the World Cup qualifiers. 

Head coach Jamie Day is scheduled to land in Dhaka Thursday morning and join the national team’s first training session at the BNS in the afternoon.

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