SAFF Championship: Unstoppable girls set up India final


Asianbangla Sports : A nondescript Bangladesh girls team announced their arrival in the regional age-group football competition in style when they won the AFC Under-14 Girl’s Regional Championship 1-0 against hosts Nepal in Kathmandu in 2015.

Since then it has been a spectacular work in progress and yesterday’s 5-0 thrashing of Bhutan in the second semifinal of the SAFF U-15 Women’s Championship at the Changlimithang Stadium in Thimphu was a continuation of a fearless and attractive brand of football.

It was not the scoreline but the approach of the Bangladesh girls, understandably almost a new set with a few survivors of 2015, which won the hearts and minds of a nation not very keen to follow the otherwise abject domestic football.

The girls’ successes over the past few years have already bracketed them as the new DNA of Bangladesh football. It may be an overstatement, but if they win the final against their Indian counterparts at the same venue on Saturday, they will not only retain the title but will also become the most consistently successful team of any sport in the country.

The Bangladesh girls played the way they have been for the past four years. They attacked as a unit and with the improvement of skills, they looked more matured. And considering the other teams of South East Asia, they looked way ahead of others with those enterprising passes, dribbles and sways, which are the outcome of working together for a long time.

Against Bhutan, defender Anai Mogini opened the scoring with a scorching 25-yard shot in the 18th minute. Anai’s sister Anuching then doubled the lead with a deft volley that dipped just under the bar and into the net in the 38th minute.

The holders raced to a 3-0 lead after striker Saraban Tohura finished off a fine move in the 43rd minute before midfielder Maria Manda added the fourth in the 68th minute and substitute Shaheda Akhter completed the rout, scoring the fifth in the 86th minute.

The girls have so far scored 22 goals without conceding any in four games. And it has become a trend. India beat Nepal 2-1 in the first semifinal earlier on the day to set up a second successive final against Bangladesh.

However come Saturday, Bangladesh girls, who won the title of the inaugural edition on home soil by winning the final 1-0, will look for another feather in their crown without a hitch.



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