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AFC Cup: TC arrive amid coronavirus fears, Kings concerned about form

  • Published at 10:40 pm March 9th, 2020
TC sports club
Members of TC Sports Club arrive at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka on Monday; March 9, 2020 Courtesy

As many as five national players will be missing from Kings team for Wednesday’s clash

Amid the increasing coronavirus fears in football world, TC Sports Club landed in Dhaka on Monday morning ahead of their AFC Cup 2020 tie against Bashundhara Kings. The kings are concerned not only because of their bewildering performance in the domestic league recently, but also because they will be missing a number of key players in their AFC Cup debut.

As many as five national players- Matin Mia, Sushanto Tripura, Emon Mahmud, Masuk Mia Jony and Atiqur Rahman Fahad -will be missing from Wednesday’s clash due to injury but the Kings are also eagerly waiting to see how their top-paid recruit Hernan Barcos, a former Argentine national striker, leaves his mark on his debut.

Kings’ coach Oscar Bruzon was in no mood to take the injury problem as an excuse. The Spanish coach said: “Surely, we are missing key players like Motin, Jony, Emon, Sushanto and Fahad but it is fair to say too that all players of Bashundhara Kings have been strictly selected to compete at the highest level.”

While they had only a single defeat out of 22 matches last season, the Kings conceded a defeat in their fifth-round fixture in the ongoing league during their last match against Mohammedan (1-0) on Saturday after losing points to newcomers Police FC earlier in the league. They also conceded goals in the last four matches while missing many chances, raising concerns over their form. 

“Our team is controlling most of the games, creating always the most chances but we have to work hard to improve our finishing skills and conversion ratio.” said Bruzon before mentioning the name of Barcos who is waiting for the debut at new club.

Barcos, the former teammate of Lionel Messi, joined the club after the end of the transfer window of the first phase of the premier league. The 35-year-old striker is available for AFC Cup and the second phase of the league.  

“Hernán is a great addition for our team. He is a world class player. He is currently showing his fantastic skills on daily practices meaning he is fully ready to perform at his best.” hoped the Spanish tactician.

The contingent of TC Sports, who are also making its debut in the AFC Cup, landed at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 11.30am before moving into the team hotel and was not allowed talking to the media as Maldives also confirmed first coronavirus cases on the same day as Bangladesh.

There was confusion whether the AFC Cup matches should go on when the World Cup qualifying matches as well as the AFC Championship League matches faced postponement within a couple of days.

All the match officials including two each from Singapore and Australia and one each from Malaysia and Mongolia were scheduled to arrive in Dhaka by Monday night while one AFC official from South Korea was sent back to his home from the immigration of Dhaka airport as his country is currently facing one of the worst coronavirus outbreaks.