Bangladesh Under-15 women’s football team on Monday clinched a comfortable 3-0 victory over Nepal to become champions in their respective group of the ongoing SAFF U-15 Women’s Championship at the Chalimithang Stadium in Thimpu, Bhutan.
The win helped Bangladesh avoid mighty India in the semi-finals and set-up a clash against hosts Bhutan in the 2nd semi-final on Thursday at the same venue.
Nepal will face India, who clinched Group A by beating Bhutan 1-0, in the first semi-final on the same day at the same venue.
Striker Tohura Khatun, Maria Manda and Sajeda Khatun scored one goal each for Bangladesh, who sweated to break the deadlock and led the first half by only solitary goal.
Despite the absence of goal, Bangladesh girls displayed a fantastic show of attacking football from the very beginning of the match and came close to scoring on several occasions.
They almost took the lead in the very first minute but defender Shansunnahar failed to sent it home after a great run from outside the box.
After this mischance, Bangladeshi girls kept pressing towards the opponents’ half but none of the players were able to find the back of the net.
Tohura and Sajeda missed two crucial chances respectively on the fourth and 23rd minute of the match.
Nepal almost took the lead against the run of play in the 42nd minute when a free-kick taken by Sabita Ramanagar took Bangladeshi defenders by a surprise but to their great relief the ball hit the woodwork.
Bangladeshi girls finally broke the deadlock in the 46th minute of the match when Tohura converted a smooth cross from Maria Manda into the net.
Bangladeshi girls appeared refreshed after the lemon break and did not take much time to double their advantage thanks to a screamer from Maria after Nepalese defender Preeti Rai failed to clear a ball in the 51st minute.
Nepal got another surprised opportunity to make a comeback when Bangladesh goalkeeper Mahmuda Akhter made a hiccup and failed to grip the ball in the 61st minute.
But a Nepalese forward sent it over the bar to waste the chance to reduce the gap.
Striker Sajeda completed the rout in the 67th minute when she made a clever run before capitalising on a miscommunication between Nepalese goalkeeper and a defender to head home the ball.
Earlier, both Bangladesh and Nepal assured the semi-final berth from the group eliminating debutant Pakistan.
Bangladesh crushed Pakistan by 14-0 goals while Nepal beat Pakistan by 4-0 margin.
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