Bangladesh women’s football team lifted their maiden SAFF Women’s Championship title, by defeating Nepal 3-1 in the final at the Dasarath Rangasala Stadium in Kathmandu, Nepal on Monday.
Krishna Rani Sarkar scored a brace after Shamsunnahar opened the scoring to help Bangladesh win their maiden title in the sixth edition.
Anita Basnet scored the lone goal for the Nepal, giving the packed home crowd at the stands hope of a late comeback before Krishna’s second goal crushed the Nepalese hearts.
Coach Golam Rabbani Choton’s charges were on the offence from the start.
Bangladesh players struggled to play free flowing football on a muddy outfield, but 12 minutes into the contest midfielder Maria Manda produced a moment of magic, skipping away from two Nepal defenders and sending scrumptious cross to Shamsunnahar inside the d-box.
Shamsunnahar, who was subbed in for Sirat Jahan Shopna in the 10th minute of the match, masterfully controlled the ball and then completed the goal with a fierce volley.
After conceding, the Nepal team came close to equalising at least twice.
In the 36th minute, Bangladesh keeper Rupna Chakma denied a free kick with a brilliant diving save.
The following minute, Nepal could’ve scored from a goalmouth melee but the Bangladesh defenders completed a goal line clearance to save the team’s lead.
Bangladesh doubled the lead just three minutes before half-time, when Krishna made full use of a defensive gaffe from Nepal and beat the Nepalese keeper in a one-on-one dual to send the ball home.
After the break, Bangladesh players were more concerned about defending their lead, which allowed Nepal to venture into the Bangladesh half much more frequently compared to the first 45 minutes.
Bangladesh team suffered for their negative approach in the 70th minute when Anita Basnet sent the ball from with a clean left-footed strike.
Conceding the goal woke up the Bangladesh team, as they began sending a few more balls into Nepal’s half.
Five minutes after conceding, Krishna once again found herself in a one-on-one situation against the Nepal keeper and once again she managed to beat the keeper.
Nepalese players couldn’t comeback after conceding the third goal and Bangladesh became champions of South Asian women’s football for the first time.