Bangladesh beat Nepal 3-1 to clinch maiden Women’s SAFF Championship title

They beat hosts Nepal in a packed Dashrath Rangasala stadium in Kathmandu

Published : 19 Sept 2022, 01:14 PM
Updated : 19 Sept 2022, 01:14 PM

Showcasing a scintillating brand of attacking football, Bangladesh’s women have clinched their first SAFF championship unconquered, after they thrashed five-time finalists Nepal 3-1 at the Dasarath Rangasala Stadium in Kathmandu.

The win in Monday’s final broke India’s absolute dominance in the biennial sub-continental competition in its 12-year history which began in 2010.

The defending champions, who had won all five previous editions, tasted their first defeat, by 3-0, in the hands of Bangladesh in the group stage before crashing out of the competition after losing to Nepal 1-0 in the semi-finals.

Krishna Rani Sarkar struck twice to take the game away from the hosts after Shamsunnahar Junior had put them ahead to propel Bangladesh to their maiden title in the tournament’s sixth edition.

Anita Basnet scored the consolation goal for Nepal.

The muddy pitch proved hindrance to a free-flowing display. But Shamsunnahar, who was subbed in for injured Sirat Jahan Shopna in the 10th minute of the match, showed her class even in such condition by opening the scoring with a thumping goal in the 14th minute.

Monica Chakma got the ball from a deflected pass by Sanjida Khatun and Shamsunnahar flicked it from Monica’s cross.

It was the first goal conceded by Nepal in this tournament.

Bangladesh doubled the lead right before half-time when Krishna beat the offside trap.

Captain Sabina Khatun got the ball through a wrong pass from a Nepalese defender and laid it for Krishna who chipped it over the goalkeeper’s head in the 41st minute.

After the break, Bangladesh focused on preserving the lead, which allowed Nepal to create momentum in their favour, resulting in a goal by Anita in the 70th minute.

It was also the first goal Bangladesh conceded in this tournament as well.

Five minutes after conceding the solitary goal, Bangladesh punished the opponents with Krishna finishing from a counter-attack as the striker slotted it in the far post.

The Nepalese could only watch as the Bangladeshi women started celebrating their victory in front of a packed Kathmandu stadium after the final whistle in the 95th minute.

Skipper Sabina, who made an assist in the final, was adjudged Most Valuable Player in the tournament, having finished as the top scorer with eight goals, including two hat-tricks.

Rupna Chakma was named the best goalkeeper, with the only goal conceded in the final.

Bangladesh also won the Fairplay award.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher