Bangladesh in final
Published : 20 Dec 2017, 13:48
Bangladesh and India confirmed their final berths in the SAFF U-15 Women's Championship with a game in hand after they outclassed their respective opponents in their league phase matches at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur yesterday.
Bangladesh notched a commanding 3-0 win over Bhutan while India handed a 10-0 defeat to Nepal in yesterday's matches. The two sides will meet each other in the last match of the league stage on December 21 before playing against each other in the final, scheduled for December 24.
Defender Akhi Khatun scored two brilliant goals before substitute Sajeda Khatun added the other in the one-sided affair where Bhutan, who were under tremendous pressure throughout, showed guts to keep the margin of defeat to a respectable one after having suffered an identical margin of defeat against India.
The girls in red and green dominated the show from the outset and the match played almost entirely in Bhutan's half with Bangladesh goalkeeper Mahmuda Akter never having to touch the ball with her hands. Rather she joined the defenders outside the danger zone to build the game from behind.
Bangladesh tried to attack through the flanks but Bhutan were excellent with zonal marking, almost neutralising Bangladesh's striking pair of Sara Ban Tohura and Anuching Mogini, who shared five goals against Nepal.
However, Bangladesh broke the deadlock in the 13th minute when Marzia whipped in a well-judged corner from the left corner for the tall Akhi Khatun, who rose above her markers to head in with sheer confidence.
Midfielder Monika Chakma, who showed tremendous performance against Australia where she scored one and set up another during the AFC U-16 Women's Championship in Thailand in September, tried her luck from a distance in the 28th minute, but the ball went wide. Anuching then rattled the post in the 37th minute as Bangladesh had to be content with one-goal lead before the lemon break.
The hosts kept pressing after restart but Bhutan defence stood tall to thwart efforts from the hosts, who eventually doubled the lead on 56 minutes through a brilliant left-footed flick from Akhi following a corner taken by Marzia.
Sajeda, who came off the bench to replace Tohura, wrapped up the victory in the 80th minute with a diagonal shot which embraced the back of the net after hitting the far post.
“Though I previously scored against Nepal and Tajikistan, this is my first international brace and I am really happy with the feat,” said Akhi, who squandered two opportunities to complete her hattrick.
“There is no regret for not getting the hattrick, rather I am happy because our team won,” said the defender from Sirajganj.
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