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Bangladesh defence vow to be rock solid

  • Published at 01:19 am October 4th, 2018
Bangladesh's Topu Barman during training in Sylhet Dhaka Tribune/Md Manik

Goalkeeper Ashraful Islam Rana and centre-back Topu Barman pledged to carry on this run during the remainder of the Bangabandhu Gold Cup

Bangladesh football team have been showing some positive results in their recent international campaign and one of the main reasons of those success is their defensive fortress that is a mix of experience and youth. 

Goalkeeper Ashraful Islam Rana and centre-back Topu Barman pledged to carry on this run during the remainder of the Bangabandhu Gold Cup.

Bangladesh kept three clean sheets out of four matches they have played so far since head coach Jamie Day and assistant coach Stuart Watkiss took charge and the most notable one was against Qatar at the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia. 

The current back five is almost the same as the one in the Asian Ganes with Rana in between the posts and Topu and Tutul Hossain Badshah pairing in center-back while Bishwanath Ghosh keeps starting on right back. The only change is the inclusion of Waly Faisal that added more experience in defence. 

After one-hour training session at BKSP of Sylhet Wednesday, national team custodian Rana said, “From goalkeeper’s perspective, I made two-three minor mistakes in the first game [against Laos] and discussed about those last night. I myself watched the match highlights and worked on it [Wednesday] morning.” 

“Match result often depends on the goalkeeper. In Bangladesh’s condition, I believe, if the goalkeeper and defenders play well then it has positive impacts on total game,” said Rana before adding, “We had a commitment that we would not concede any goal. If we do that and score from the chances we get during 90 minutes then it’s good for the side.”

Rana added, “I’m happy with our defence because I played around eight matches behind this back four. Same set-up [from Asiad] only Waly came back for the Saff and he is quite experienced.”

The defence has also been playing first-hand role in scoring and creating chances for goals. Bishwanath’s long throw-ins assisted a couple of goals in the Asiad and Saff Championship while Topu got into the scoresheet in the latter mentioned tournament.

Topu said after the practice session, “My first and main job is to defend, then I attend the set-pieces and if I score it would be good for the team, and for me.  But it’s important to keep the cleansheet first and we will try to maintain it.

“We will play safe football. We made a few mistakes which the coach discussed with us. The only job of our defence would be not to take any risk. We try to have a good combination between goalkeeper and defence. We want to keep the consistency.”

Some of Waly’s precise long balls penetrated the Laos defence in the opening game and the veteran left-back also pledged to continue his fine form keeping the fitness level up-to-date with the younger teammates. 

Day also praised his back four, terming it “exceptionally good” after the Laos win and urged his disciples to continue it with more hard work, ahead of their last group stage match against Philippines Friday.

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