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Bangladesh face an uphill task as they will meet Jordan in the first match of the AFC U-23 group E qualifiers at the Faisal al Husseini International Stadium in Al Ram, Palestine on Wednesday.

The U-23 team coached by Andrew Ord will also face Tajikistan and Palestine on Friday and Sunday respectively.

Bangladesh national U-23 football team touched down in Palestinian city of Bethlehem safely where they will participate in the AFC U-23 Championship qualifiers, according to BFF source to BSS on Tuesday.

The team landed in Jordanian capital Amman after leaving Qatar capital Doha, and from there they took a long bus journey to Bethlehem passing through the Allenby checkpoint of Israel.

After reaching Bethlehem, all the players and staffs boarded Al Jacir Palace where they freshened up and went for nap before their first training session in Palestine later in the day.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh suffered a setback with an unfortunate groin injury forced forward Jewel Rana to return home from Qatar, leaving a big vacuum in the team.

Jewel Rana sustained a groin injury during the friendly match against Qatar on Thursday last. Mohammad Ibrahim, who has replaced Jewel Rana, left Dhaka on Sunday to join the team in Amman, Jordan.

Palestine hosts the Group E of AFC U23 Championship qualifying and has been drawn alongside Tajikistan, Jordan, and Bangladesh. The ten group winners alongside the five best runners up will qualify for the final tournament in 2018.

Of the 47 AFC member associations, a total of 40 teams have entered the competition. The final tournament hosts China PR decided to participate in qualification despite having automatically qualified for the final tournament.

The team manager Satyajit Das Rupu said, “Finally we are here in Palestine..All the teams are residing in the same hotel. Ibrahim joined with the team in Amman, Jordan. We had a 3 and half hours hassle at the Israel boarder which was very unfortunate.

After a more than 12 hours journey we are here. Boys will train at 3.30 pm Palestine time today. They will just adjust themselves with the condition and prepare for the game on the 19” said Rupu.

“I need to focus on the U-23 and the U-19 AFC qualifying campaigns over the next few months and identify who will form the backbone of the senior national team from the domestic league games.

By the time the Bangabandhu Gold Cup and SAFF Championship come around, we need to be ready to compete. Twelve months is a long time in football and I am fully focused on what is in front of me,” Ord was quoted as saying in the BFF official website.

Source: BSS

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