SAFF Championship is a gathering of South Asian countries. Bangladesh has the experience of playing against India, Nepal and Bhutan in the women’s age group. However, this is the first time that a European country is participating in the Women’s Saf. Russian girls set foot in Dhaka on Saturday to play U-17 Women’s SAFF Championship. The red-green team is only interested in the match against the Russian girls.
Bangladesh coach Golam Rabbani Choton had to talk a lot about the match against Russia in the press conference held at Buffe Bhavan yesterday ahead of the competition. Bangladesh will play their first match against Bhutan on March 20. The much-anticipated match against Russia will be played on March 22 at 3:30 pm at Bir Shresh Shaheed Sepahi Mustafa Kamal Stadium, Kamalapur.
In this competition of five teams, the trophy will be awarded to the team with the highest points. Bangladesh was the last U-20 women’s champion. After that, Bangladesh’s dream was broken by losing to Iran in the AFC qualifiers of the same age group. Three footballers Trishna Rani, Survi Akhand Preeti and Nusrat Jahan Mitu in that team are in the Under-17 squad. Brand new faces are forward Sagarika and defender Nadia Akhter Jitu. Bangladesh prepared for the competition from last January. Despite being successful at the age level, the challenge is more because there is Russia. Bangladesh coach Choton wants to see the team’s standard in the Russia match, ‘The standard we play in South Asia is not the same as the standard in Europe.
If we play against Russia, of course, what standard we are, that will come out. But here is our good side, our girls are performing consistently, we will know better where we have improved and where we need to improve if we play against good teams. The girls are excited to play against a team from Europe, they are not feeling the pressure.’
Like the coach, the captain Ruma Akhtar is also excited about the Russia match, ‘Russia is the team of Europe. We have a lot to learn from them. Hope to do something good. Because football, there are wins and losses. It will be seen on the field, we will fight, we will try to win.’