Sabina Khatun scores twice to ensure Bangladesh's victory against Maldives in SAFF Women Championship on 7 September

Bangladesh got off to a flying start in the SAFF Women Championship as they beat Maldives by 3-0 at the Kathmandhu in their opening match of the tournament thanks to a brace of Sabina Khatun. Mansura Parvin scored the other goal.

Bangladesh beat Maldives in their two previous encounters and Sabina, who scored two goals in both of her previous appearances against the same opponents, was extra confident with the familiar foes thanks to her experience of playing at the Maldives league.

Bangladesh, however, made a wasteful start as Monika Chakma and Krishna Rani Sarker squandered several opportunities in first ten minutes.

The women in red and green continued their pursuit by dominating the game through speed and skill and could at last break the deadlock in the 32nd minute when Sabina scored a screamer. Her powerful 40-yard volley broke all the resistance and registered first success for Bangladesh in the match.

Masura doubled the lead just two minutes later. Krishna failed to control the through ball from Monika and tumbled inside the box but Masura made no mistake to score the tap-in.

Maldives’ goalkeeper Liza failed to grasp a Maria shot in the 40th minute, Sabina, who was round the corner, calmly collected the ball to make it 3-0.

With this goal Sabina’s tally from her sixth South Asian Championship has risen to 16.

Maldives however, bolted their defence and despite many attempts Bangladesh failed to add more goals.

Earlier, in the curtain raiser of the tournament India beat Pakistan by 3-0.

Bangladesh will play their next match against Pakistan on 10 September.