BD girls on high hopes ahead SAFF U15 Women’s Championship
Published : 17 Dec 2017, 12:59
The four-nation South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Under-15 Women’s Championship begins at Birshrestha Shaheed Sepoy Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamlapur on Sunday.
Ahead of the league battle, Bangladesh captain and coach expressed their hopes to clinch the title utilising the home venue advantage and their recent experiences against the overseas teams India, Nepal and Bhutan the three other participating teams of the tournament.
“Not that we are hot-favorite side, but [we’re] doing well and will take the ground tomorrow (Sunday) against Nepal to win the match giving our best,” said Bangladesh U15 Women’s team head coach Golam Rabbani Choton.
Bangladesh U15 Women’s team captain Maria Manda and her fellows have winning records against the two sides India and Nepal while Bhutan have come to Bangladesh for the first time to take part in a national level age group tournament.
Bangladesh routed Nepal by 9-0 margin while beat India twice by 3-1 in the group battle and 4-0 goals in the final of AFC U14 Women’s Championship (zonal) in Tajikistan 2016.
Terming all the sides as the good opponents, Maria Manda said, “We have an advantage of home ground and utilising the opportunity we will try our best to win the match. We don’t feel any pressure ahead of the tournament and want to win the title.”
Both the coach and the captain were talking to journalists in the pre-tournament press conference at Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) house on Saturday.
The Nepalese head coach Ganga Gurung termed Bangladesh as the strongest side in the tournament while the captain Preeti Rai echoed the coach before adding, “Of course we want to win against them (Bangladesh) to prove our strength. We expect good result tomorrow (Sunday).”
Bangladesh will face Nepal in an opening day match, which staring at 2:30pm while India will take on Bhutan in the tournament opener at 11: 30 am. State-run television BTV will telecast Sunday’s match live.
Indian team head coach Maymol Rocky agreed that Bangladesh is a good team and doing well day by day as she said, “In the age group level competition Bangladesh is doing well and hope we will have them in the final, but all the teams of this tournament are strong enough to get success.”
“We’ve lost against them (Bangladesh) in our last meetings and have four to five players from that team. We are planning match by match and focusing on Sunday’s match against Bhutan,” Rocky added.
Indian team captain Bannaya Kabiraj said, “We have 25 days’ practice sessions in Kolkata ahead of the tournament. Bangladesh is a strongest side and tactically advanced enough, but we are also hopeful to have the best results against them.”
Bhutanese head coach Sung Jea Lee expressed disappointment on his side’s first Bangladesh visit as he has seen some stones on the tournament ground and worried about their future national players, if any of the players suffer fatal injury.
“We have come to Bangladesh for the first time without much preparation for the tournament. As far as we know all the opponent teams are stronger than us. We are a developing side and it’s an opportunity of experience for our girls,” SJ Lee said adding, “I’m worried about injury as I’ve seen stones on the ground.”
In the seven-match week-long affair, each team will face other in one game in the group phase battles and the two top teams will move on to the final on December 24.
In the remaining group matches Bangladesh will face Bhutan and India on December 19 and 21 respectively.
All the participating teams have their practice sessions at the BFF Artificial Turf and the tournament venue on Saturday.
Bangladesh team: Mahmuda Akhter, Sajeda Khatun, Dipa Khatun, Mossamat Akhi Khatun, Tohura Khatun, Rupna Chakma, Ritu Porna Chakma, Monika Chakma, Mossammat Laboni Akter, Rupa Akhter, Nazma, Sagorika, Rumi Akther, Ms Rekha Akther, Mossammat Runa Akther, Mossammat Monne Akther, Anuching Mogini, Anai Mogini, Marzia, Maria Manda, Nilufa Yesmin Nila, Parvin Sultana, Mosamamt Sultana, Sohagi Kisku, Shamsunnahar (Df), Shamsunnahar (Mf), Sita Rani Chanda And Mukta Sarker.
Nepal team: Kareena Dhimal, Bitisha Rajbanshi, Pushpa Gurung, Sarishma Thapa, Man Maya B K, Khushma Rai, Surakshya Singh, Roshani Dhimal, Saraswoti Hamal, Preeti Rai, Asmita Chaudhary, Sushma Tamang, Muna Magar, Nikita Thokar, Sabita Rana Magar, Sushma Gt, Anjali Chand, Ashmita Darji, Asmita Gurung, Nikita Dhimal, Supriya Rajak, Riya Banu and Jharana Nagarkoti.
India team: S Monika Devi, N Khushi Chanu, Manisha, S Mekola Devi, Sarita Soreng, Pushparani Devi, Pavithra Murugesan, Yumlembam Papki Devi, Pratiksha Lakra, Susmita Tanty, TH Kritina Devi, Bannaya Kabiraj (captain), Poonam, Kiran, Aveka Singh, Anay Bai, TH Martina Devi, N Priyanka Devi, H Shilky Devi, Lynda Kom, Niketa Bishi, Santhiya Vengadajalam and Sunita Munda.
Bhutan team: Tshering Yanden, Ngawang Tshomo, Tshering Lhadon, Karma Wangmo, Tshering Yangchen, Karma Yaden, Tshering Yangdon, Sonam Lhamo, Kelden Lhamo, Kezang Wangmo, Tandin Zangmo, Sherab Pelmo, Yeshey Bidha, Deki Yangdon, Sonam Choden (captain), Yeshey Bidha, Sonam Choden, Pema Tshomo, Deki Lhazom, Choney Wangmo, Tshering Zangmo, Sonam Tshomo, Chencho Dema, Anju Raini, Norbu Zangmo And Pemayangzom.
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