Published:  01:15 AM, 12 January 2020

Booters eye draw against Palestine in BB Gold Cup

Booters eye draw against Palestine in BB Gold Cup Bangladesh national football team head coach Jamie Day giving some tips to players during their residential camp training at Lt Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club ground on Saturday. -BFF

Hosts Bangladesh are looking for a respectable draw against defending champions Palestine in the opening match of the upcoming six-nation Bangabandhu International Gold Cup Football Tournament which is scheduled to begin on January 15 at the Bangabandhu National Stadium.

 Ahead of the tough but not impossible meet, Bangladesh national football team launched their seven-day residential camp at Lt Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club ground on Wednesday. About their plan against Palestine, Bangladesh defender Sushanto Tripura said their target is to play a goalless draw with the defending champions.

 "Palestine are a strong team. So, it'll be a tough match. We'll try to make a tough fight against them. Our coach is working on our defence for a long time. He'll disclose his plan in a video session later," he said.

 "Our main target is to make a draw against them [Palestine] and obviously a goalless draw. We don't want to concede any goal. So, we have to maintain a balance between attacks and defence. Topu da [Topu Barman] returned to the squad which is a plus point for us. He is one of the most reliable players," Sushanto added.

 In their last six international matches, Bangladesh scored only three goals after conceding eight goals. The men in red and green scored one goal against Laos in their away match of the joint qualification of the FIFA World Cup and AFC Asian Cup in round-1 and Bangladesh scored one goal each against Oman and India in round -2.

Former runners-up Bangladesh placed in tough Group A along with Palestine and Sri Lanka will play remaining group match against Islanders Sri Lanka on January 19.

 The Group B team comprises three African countries -- Burundi, Mauritius and Seychelles -- and Burundi will play Mauritius in the opening Group B match on January 16 at 5pm at the same venue.

 Two top teams from each of the groups will play the semifinals. The Group A champions will play Group B runners-up in the first semifinal on January 22 while Group B champions will face Group A runners-up in the other semis on January 23, both at 5 pm at the same venue.

The title deciding final will be held on January 25, also at 5 pm at the same venue.  In the latest FIFA rankings -- Palestine are in 106th slot while Burundi in 151st, Mauritius in 172nd, hosts Bangladesh in 187th, Seychelles in 200th and Sri Lanka in 205th position.

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