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In another match on the opening day, Nepal will take on defending champions host Maldives at 10:00pm (Bangladesh time) at the same venue.

Maximum 5,000 spectators will be allowed to enter the stadium to enjoy the tournament opening match. All spectators will have to carry the certificates of Covid-19 vaccination.

I hope we will do very good against Sri Lanka and hoped to get full three points
Jamal Bhuyan, Bangladesh skipper

It will be the first assignment for national football team’s interim head coach Oscar Bruzon, who has been given the charge for the SAFF Championship with a hope to secure the second SAFF title.

Before begin the journey in the SAFF Championship in the Maldives, the Bangladesh national football team engaged themselves in some friendly matches. After the 3-0 loss to Oman in the World Cup Qualifiers in Doha that ended Bangladesh’s journey of World Cup 2022.

The boys have played two more friendlies against upper ranked Palestine and Kyrgyzstan in the first week of September losing both the matches with 2-0 and 4-1 score lines respectively.

Addressing a pre-match press conference Bangladesh skipper Jamal Bhuyan said, “We’ll start the game in a positive way in the tomorrow’s (Friday) game and hopefully play full 90 minutes positive football ... I hope we will do very good against Sri Lanka and hoped to get full three points.”

Replying a question, Jamal said “Off course it’s a good motivation for us as a lot Bangladeshi fans are here to support us ... we are very happy for that ... in yesterday’s (Wednesday) practice session fans came to watch out the team’s practice which was an extra motivation for us.”

Meanwhile, Bangladesh will miss the service of midfielder Sohel Rana and defender Rezaul Karim, who will not be a part of Bangladesh’s first match against Sri Lanka due to fever.

Ahead of the first match, the Bangladesh team had their final training session on Thursday afternoon at the Henveiru training pitch under the supervision of Oscar Bruzon.

On the other hand, Sri Lanka has not been able to play any friendlies before they start their campaign in the SAFF Championship, due to Covid-19 restrictions.

The Islanders last game was in the second round of Asian World Cup Qualifiers against South Korea with whom they lost a humiliating 5-0 defeat ending their winless journey in the second round of the qualifiers.

Squad

Bangladesh: Sahidul Alam, Anisur Rahman, Ashraful Islam Rana, Rahmat Mia, Bishwanath Ghosh, Topu Barman, Riyadul Hasan, Yeasin Arafat , Razaul Karim Sohel Rana, Saad Uddin Biplo Ahmed, Jamal Bhuyan , Rakib Hossain, Suman Reza, Tariq Raihan Kazi, Mahbubur Rahman, Mohammad Ibrahim, Matin Miah, Mohammad Atiqur Rahman Fahad, Jewel Rana, Tutul Hosain Badsha and Mohammad Hridoy.

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