Goal rain on Day 4 | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 16, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 16, 2010

Goal rain on Day 4

Bangladesh score 9, India 7


HATTRICK HERO: Bangladesh striker Aungmra Ching Marma (L) celebrates one of her three goals during her side's 9-0 thrashing of Bhutan in the SAFF Women's Football Championship at the Cox's Bazar Zilla Stadium yesterday. PHOTO: ANISUR RAHMAN

Two games, sixteen goals, nine of which was scored by the home team, a bright winter's sun and a full house of enthusiastic fans rocking the stadium; there was hardly a better place to be yesterday than at the Cox's Bazar Zilla Stadium in this seaside town on the fourth day of the SAFF Women's Football Championship.
Bangladesh were imperious in their 9-0 triumph, India dismissive in their 7-0 victory as both sides eased into the semifinals, even before what is now an academic group clash on Friday.
For Bangladesh, striker Aungmra Ching Marma struck a hattrick while Sabina Khatun, Farhana Khatan and Suinu Pru Marma scored two each as the hosts dispatched Bhutan by a 9-0 scoreline.
A beaming Aungmra Ching spoke of her delight at scoring her first hattrick:
“Being a striker, I wanted to score in this match since I missed out in the first match,” said the teenager.
And score she did. Bangladesh never looked like scoring the eighteen that India blasted past the hapless Bhutanese but there were still goals aplenty. But even as the strikers scored almost at will, the player who caught the eye most was defender Farhana Khatun.
Tall and well-built, Khatun not only held the fort strong at the back, but also managed to pop in with two goals, the first of which was an absolute blinder.
Bringing the ball out from the back, Khatun unleashed a 30 yard rocket that thundered into the back of the net courtesy of the lightest possible touch off the underside of the bar.
But goals are supposedly a liquid currency for Khatun. The Bangladesh coach confirmed that Khatun had played in midfield at the SA Games earlier this year and she had looked likely to get a goal and come very close in the match against Pakistan.
But even as the hosts celebrated a thumping victory, there was already one eye on India, as the neighbors too, looked a class apart in their 7-0 win over Sri Lanka earlier in the day.
Sasmita Mallik struck a hattrick in a little under sixty minutes to take her tournament tally to ten, while Bala Devi, Pinky Bompal and Manpreet Kaur chipped in with a goal apiece.
Despite being taken off by the coach after completing her hattrick, the 21-year old Orissa striker was not complaining.
“I am happy. The others needed to get some game time. So I don't have any complaint at being substituted,” expressed Sasmita.
Coach Shahid Jabbar was not fully satisfied though with the team's performance:
“I rested a few of the girls for this match but even then I expected better from the reserves,” said Jabbar.
“Next up are hosts Bangladesh who have improved a lot since the last time we played. I have respect for them, but we are thinking of nothing but a win,” warned the coach.

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