Perth, Australia (BBN)-Bangladesh are happy to be in Australia, and happy to test themselves against Asia’s top team.
And they will be equally happy if they can come away from their encounter with the Socceroos having kept the scoreline down and given a good account of themselves, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.
Lodewijk de Kruif, the Dutchman in charge of the world’s 170th-ranked side, made no bones about the challenge facing his team at nib Stadium on Thursday evening.
“We are very happy to have the chance to play this match. It’s a big difference in all sides of quality of life and playing football in Australia,” he said.
“We have a lot of ambition, we have a lot of ideas in Bangladesh to improve football.
“Of course, [taking on the] No.1 in Asia, a very good team with a lot of experience, and with good players in Europe, we are the absolute underdog.
“We have our tactics, we have analysed the opponent very well. We start our match very motivated and eager to get a good result. ”
Despite the low expectation and the gulf in class, the Bangladeshis will not be fearful against the likes of Tim Cahill.
“You have to consider that in football everything can happen,” de Kruif said.
“I watched the game against Kyrgyzstan over there [when Australia won 2-1]. They made it very tough for Australia in that match. Everything can happen. My players are not afraid, they have respect, but they are not coming as tourists.”
Bangladesh’s captain Mamunul Islam promised his side would make a contest.
“Everyone knows that Australia’s level is the sky. But the Bangladesh team will fight. It’s a good match that everybody sees … this match is very important for Bangladesh,” he said.
“It’s exciting, not scary. Football is 11 v 11.”
Asked about the challenge of facing a player such as Cahill, who is one of the biggest names in the Asian game, Islam said: “He has two arms and two legs. He is better than me, but everyone will try their best.”
De Kruif will have to watch the match from the stands because he is serving a touchline ban following his sending-off in an earlier World Cup qualifier.
Bangladesh lost 3-1 to Kyrgyzstan and drew 1-1 with Tajikistan in earlier matches, with both games played in the capital Dhaka.