Bangladesh won a historic victory at the SAFF Women’s Championship to lift the maiden title at the Dashrath Rangshala Stadium in Kathmandu yesterday. The Bangladesh team defeated hosts Nepal by 3-1 in the finals before a full stadium watching some brilliant football on display.
Starting with an early injury to one of its star performers Sirat Jahan Swapna in the 10th minute, Bangladesh came on top with the replacement Shamsunnahar Jr scoring a goal only four minutes later. Krishna Rani Sarkar scored the other two goals to secure a resounding victory for Bangladesh to claim the SAFF title.
In the rain-soaked stadium, Krishna Rani Sarkar scored the second goal in the 42nd minute with a brilliant pass from the skipper Sabina Khatun.
In the second half of the match, Nepal put up spirited play to score a goal in the 69th minute with Anita Basnet putting the ball into the net. However, the Bangladeshi team wrapped up the match 3-1 with a 77th-minute goal by Krishna Rani Sarkar.
Bangladesh skipper Sabina Khatun was the top scorer of the tournament with 8 goals in 5 matches. She was also named as the Most Valuable Player of the tournament for her extraordinary game. The Bangladesh team won the fair play award also.
Skipper Sabina dedicated the SAFF Women’s Championship trophy to the people of Bangladesh. Goalkeeper Rupna Chakma from Bangladesh was named the best goalkeeper. She conceded just one goal in the tournament.
The victory of the Bangladesh Women’s team was hailed as a great achievement for an ‘experimental idea’ that began less than two decades ago against the ‘backdrop of heavy resistance from sections of conservative society’, by the local media.