Bangladesh national football team left Dhaka for Qatar on Thursday morning without two key players — striker Nabib Newaj Zibon and defender Manjurur Rahman Manik — to play the joint qualification match of FIFA World Cup 2022 and Asia Cup 2023.
Bangladesh will play their tough round-2 Group E away match against Asian champions and hosts Qatar in Doha on December 4.
The Qatar-bound Bangladesh team consists of 25 booters (out of 27) and 10 officials. They also missed their British Head Coach Jamie Day, who tested Covid-19 positive for the second time on Monday, apart from Zibon and Monjurur.
However, Jamie Day may join the national squad in Qatar later after recovery.
Monjurur was dropped from team in the last moment as he tested Covid-19 positive while striker Zibon missed the trip due to a knee injury.
Zibon, who scored first goal against Nepal in the first match, suffered a knee injury after a clash with Nepalese custodian in the second match of the series last Tuesday.
After a three-day quarantine in Doha, Bangladeshi players will likely start their practice session on Nov 22. They are scheduled to play two preparatory matches against the local selections on Nov 25 and 28 respectively.
Earlier on Tuesday, Bangladesh clinched the two-match Mujib Borsho FIFA International Series 1-0 after playing out a goalless draw with touring Nepal in the series-deciding second match at the Bangabandhu National Stadium.
Bangladesh made a flying start in the two-match series, first of its kind in South Asia during the Covid-19 pandemic, beating Nepal 2-0 in the first match last Friday, to taste their first victory over the Himalayan nation after five years.
With the series, Bangladesh not only smartly returned to the international football after about ten months, but also earned morale boost-up ahead of their tough match against Qatar.
1. Bangladesh started their campaign in FIFA and AFC joint qualifiers last year with a 0-1 defeat against Afghanistan in the first match in the Tajik capital of Dushanbe on September 10, conceded a 0-2 goals defeat against Asian champions Qatar in the second match in Dhaka on October 10, played to a 1-1 draw against India in their third match in Kolkata on October 15 and conceded 1-4 goals defeat against Oman in the fourth match at the Seeb Sports Stadium in Al Seeb city of Oman on November 14.
In the five-team Group E, Qatar is now leading the point table with 13 points from five matches while Bangladesh are at the bottom with one point from four matches. Among others, Oman secured 12, Afghanistan 4 and India 3 points.
Players:Ashraful Islam Rana, Anisur Rahman Zico, Pappu Hossain, Topu Barman, Bishwanath Ghosh, Yeasin Khan, Rahmat Miya, Sushanto Tripura, Riyadul HasanRayhan Hasan, Jamal Bhuiyan, Atiqur Rahman Fahad, Mamunul Islam Mamun, Sohel Rana, Rabiul Hasan, Biplo Ahamed, Mohammad Ibrahim, Saaduddin, Towhidul Alam Sabuj, Rakib Hossain, Manik Hossain Mollah, Yeasir Arafat, Sumon Reza ,Mahbubur Rahman Sufil and MS Bablu.
Officials: Amer Khan (Manager), Stuart Paul Watkiss (Asstt Coach), Masud Parvez Kaiser (Asstt Coach), Leslie Cleevely(Goalkeeping Coach), Ivan Razlog (Fitness Coach), Andre Juan Carle (Physio), Fuad Hasan Hawlader (Physio), M Atiquzzaman (Doctor), Hasan Mahmud (Media Officer) and Mohammad Mohsin (Attendent)..
Source: United News of Bangladesh