Buoyant Bangladesh eye an upset over Kuwait

Bangladesh to take on Kuwait in the SAFF Championship Semifinal in Bengaluru, India on 1 July 2023BFF

Bangladesh will take on Kuwait in their first semifinal at the SAFF Championship in 14 years with their sights firmly set on an upset victory at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru, India today (Saturday), reports news agency BSS.

T Sports will telecast the match live which will kick off at 4:00pm Bangladesh Standard Time.

Bangladesh began the tournament with a 0-2 defeat against Lebanon before bouncing back with 2-1 and 3-1 victories over the Maldives and Bhutan respectively to book a place in the semifinal as Group B runners-up.

Although Kuwait, ranked 141, will start the match as the clear favourites, a confident Bangladesh will take the field with one eye on the final, said captain Jamal Bhuiyan.

Bangladesh captain Jamal Bhuiyan and captain Javier Cabrera during the press conference ahead of the SAFF Championship semifinal

“We know that this tournament and this semi-final is still in our own hands. People of Bangladesh who support football, expect to see the team in the final. InshaAllah if we can get a positive result, then football hype will increase. We know Bangladeshi people follow football and we have to keep an eye on that too,” Jamal said at a pre-match press conference held on Friday.

Referring to Kuwait as a strong opponent, Jamal said, “We know that Kuwait is a very good and strong team. They are playing the semi-finals as the best of the other group, but we have confidence as we have some players who know how to compete in the match how to create pressure on the opponents. So, we are ready for this semi-final. We are physically a bit tired, but mentally we are 100 per cent prepared for the semifinal.”

“We have to play our own game. We have to look after ourselves. How to score goals, how to attack and how to defend the opponent - we have to keep an eye on these. So, I would say we have to look at ourselves first, otherwise the match may become difficult for us,” he added.

If Bangladesh can find a way to cross the Kuwait hurdle, they will reach the final of SAFF Championship for the first time since 2005, when they lost the final to India.