Hosts start well | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 14, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 14, 2010

SAFF Women's Football Championship 2010

Hosts start well

India put 18 past Bhutan

Teammates converge to congratulate Sabina Khatun (L) after she scored the second goal against Sri Lanka in the SAFF Women's Football Championship at the Cox's Bazar Stadium yesterday. PHOTO: ANISUR RAHMAN

Bangladesh got their SAFF Women's Football Championship campaign off to a comfortable start with a 2-0 victory over Sri Lanka in their Group A encounter at the Cox's Bazaar Zilla Stadium yesterday.
Meanwhile, favourites India got off to a rollicking start after they put an unbelievable eighteen unanswered goals past a hapless Bhutan side in the day's first game.
For Bangladesh, a first half strike by Suinu Pru Marma, doubled by Sabina Khatun in the second half meant the scoreline from the SA Games earlier this year was repeated in the seaside city.
The match got off to an explosive start as striker Suinu scored an astounding goal even before the crowd had settled into their seats. Collecting the ball from midfield, she unleashed a left footer from twenty yards out that eluded the keeper's hands and nestled into the top corner of the net.
Minutes later, Suinu once again created havoc in the Sri Lanka defence when she cut back from the right wing, danced past a defender before releasing a cross that was all too difficult for the Lankan keeper, the fumbled fist was headed back by Aung Mrachin but eventually cleared off the line by the defence.
Bangladesh created a few more chances in the first half, but could not increase the lead.
The second half saw Sri Lanka press harder while Bangladesh seemed to sit back a little. Just after the restart, Lankans came close to reducing the margin as Erandi Kamudamala's diving header missed the top of the bar by a whisker.
Bangladesh defence came under severe pressure and a 65th-minute attack was barely foiled at the death by the tall and agile custodian Sabina Akter.
However, somewhat against the run of play Bangladesh scored again on the 71st minute through Sabina Khatun. It originated from a counterattack as Sabina took the ball on her own from inside her own half, danced past a defender, cut back inside another, took the ball on the right foot before sliding it in under the diving goalkeeper.
The rest of the game was dominated by Bangladesh although the scoreline remained unchanged. The winners were given a huge ovation by the 10,000-strong when they went on a victory lap.
Captain Trishna Chakma said they were confident about winning the game:
“We beat them [Sri Lanka] in the SA Games, so we were confident of winning here too. Everyone did their job. We are happy to start with a win in the month of victory.”
The coach Golam Rabbani Choton said the team played well for most of the game apart from a period in the second half when they got themselves under a bit of pressure.
“This is a tough group and this was a very important match. We had no alternative but to win, which we accomplished. We always played with attacking intent and hopefully we will win our next matches as well,” said Choton.
The Sri Lankan coach Chaminda Neil blamed injury to two of his most important players during the game for defeat.
Meanwhile, favourites India humiliated minnows Bhutan with a staggering 18-0 defeat in the first match of the day. The winners added eight goals after going for breather with a 10-0 scoreline. Sasmita Malik scored an amazing seven goals, Bala Devi bagged five and captain Tababi Devi four while Gayatri Mallick and Pinky Bompal added one each for the winners.
There are two matches to be played today, in the first match Pakistan will take on Maldives while favourites Nepal will play against Afghanistan in the later match.
BANGLADESH: Sabina Akter, Trishna Chakma, Farhana Khatun, Suravi Akter, Khaleda Khatun, Maynu Marma, Nuby Ching Marma, Suinu Pru Marma, Jahanara Akter, Sabina Khatun, Aung Mrachin Marma.
SRI LANKA: Shanika Rajapaksha, Basika Rammi, Malkanthi Abeykoon, Ishara Madushani, Hasara Dilrangi, K Angela, Malisha Iddagoda, Hashini Anyaratne, Shehani Hapuarachchi, Diki Kulatunga, Deepthi Fernando.

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