Hosts Bangladesh hope to make a good first impression in this edition of the Hero Asia Cup hockey tournament when they take on three-time World Cup and Asia Cup champions Pakistan in their campaign opener at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium today.
Ever since their fifth place finish at home back in 1985, Bangladesh have never finished as high as fifth in the past seven editions. Bangladesh also have the advantage of knowing about a few of the Pakistani players’ style of play as the individuals in question participated in the premier league in Dhaka last season.
Bangladesh captain Rasel Mahmud Jimmy echoed his coach’s sentiments and promised to deliver their best.
“Everyone assumes that Pakistan will win the match and our possibility of fighting against them depends on our on-field performance. If we all can do our best, then a competitive match can be expected because all of us are eager to play a good match against Pakistan,” said a careful Jimmy, adding that they want to make a positive start and carry it till the last game.
However, national team coach Mahbub Harun is optimistic about playing a good match as his charges have overcome the fear of facing big teams.
“Playing on the home ground is something special and the boys will play for their motherland. I hope that the boys will give their maximum and play positive hockey instead thinking of conceding less number of goals,” Harun said. “Our target is to play with good ball possession and react quickly when we lose the ball.