Jamal Bhuyan, who led Bangladesh against India in the 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup Joint Qualifier last year, has revealed that the entire team was charged up ahead of the game and he had an added task of marking his Indian counterpart Sunil Chhetri.
While the Bangladesh captain went about his duties neutralising the talismanic Indian forward, he had also managed to play a role in his side taking the lead in the first half, as he provided the assist for Saad Uddin to nod in a free-kick. The Indian team responded via Adil Khan in the second half as the teams shared the spoils.
“Sunil is an icon and a legend in India. He’s scored so many international goals, so we always had our eyes on him. The coach and I spoke about the game and he told me, ‘You have to stop Sunil’,” recalled Jamal while speaking to the-aiff.com.
“So I was focusing on not letting him get any chances. Whatever move he made, I went with him. My job that day was to cut him off from the rest and frustrate him,” he added.
Bhuyan is now all set to return to the City of Joy where he will be playing for newly promoted I-League side Mohammedan SC.
“An offer from the I-League is very good for me. So when Mohammedan Sporting approached me I asked around to know more about their rich history,” Jamal said.
“They just earned promotion and now want to win the League. I felt that that is the kind of intent I want to play with, and that I can make an impact there. I am looking forward to playing at Mohammedan,” he added.
The 14th edition of I-League will kick off on January 9 next year in Kolkata. Eleven teams will need to enter the bio-secure bubble 14 days prior to their first match according to the schedule, which has still not been announced.