Bangladesh got off to a winning start in the inaugural Bangamata Under-19 Women’s International Gold Cup as they beat the United Arab Emirates by 2-0 goals in the opening match under floodlight at the Bangabandhu National Stadium on Monday.
Bangladesh’s forward Sirat Jahan Shopna and Krishna Rani Sarkar scored one goal each for the winners in a Group B encounter of six-team competition.
Bangladesh took an early lead in the 12th minute when Shopna placed the ball home with a left-footed attempt from the inside six-yard box after a long cross from defender Akhi Khatun.
Shopna missed a chance in a one-on-one situation in the 18th minute as her right-footed attempt from inside the box was saved by goalie Aya Walid Malalla.
Krishna Rani Sarkar doubled the lead in the 30th minute by a header from inside the box, connecting a corner kick by midfielder Monika Chakma from the right side.
Shopna missed another chance in the 40th minute as her right-footed attempt from inside the box went out whistling off the right post after a cross from left by defender Shamsunnahar (senior).
Bangladesh could have extended the margin in the stopgap time of the first half but defender Akhi Khatun’s long-ranged attempt from around 30-yard distance went high over the crosspiece.
Bangladesh missed around 10 chances in the second half playing an attacking game as UAE could hardly cross the midfield.
Bangladesh beat the same side by 7-0 goals in the AFC Under-16 Women’s Championship qualifiers at the Bir Sherestha Shaheed Shipahi Mostafa Kamal Stadium in September 2018.
In their last group encounter, Bangladesh will face Kyrgyzstan on April 26.
Tajikistan will face Mongolia in their first Group A match at the same venue today. Group A comprises Mongolia, Tajikistan and Laos.
On completion of group matches, two top teams from each group will qualify for the semi-finals, scheduled to be held on April 29 and 30. The final of the tournament will be held on May 3.
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