Although Bangladesh confirmed a semifinal berth in the SAFF Women's Championship with a 2-0 win over Bhutan in their first match, they seemingly regretted not having a better goal difference with hosts Nepal, who beat Bhutan 3-0 in the tournament opener.
Bangladesh basically had two targets for their group opener, to ensure a semifinal spot and better the goal difference before facing Nepal in the group-decider on Saturday, in a bid to avoid favourites India in the semifinals.
The margin of victory could have been better had Bangladesh not missed a few good scoring opportunities, courtesy of misfiring forwards Sirat Jahan Swapna and substitute striker Tahura Khatun.
Bangladesh did however get the last laugh as they extended their all win record over Bhutan but a few hurdles still remain on their path to back-to-back final appearances.
“We have nothing to do about it [goal difference] although every player tried their best. Nepal gave their best to beat Bhutan 3-0. We also created more scoring opportunities but could not cash in. Now the match against Nepal is more important for us,” said vice-captain Misrat Jahan Moushumi at a post-match conference at the Sahid Rangsala in Biratnagar.
However, Moushumi had expressed her discontent at not winning the match by a bigger margin ahead of the press conference.
“The ground was uneven so we could not play accordingly. Besides, we were a bit nervous because of the first match. We regretted not bettering the goal difference a bit,” Moushumi told reporters. “If we scored more goals then we could have had an edge in the match against Nepal.”
On the other hand, the midfielder was pleased to have scored her first international goal against Bhutan.
“I am really happy to break the deadlock by scoring the opener Bhutan is a tough team and we tried till the last minute to win the match,” said Moushumi.
Head coach Golam Rabbai Choton refused to express whether he was happy or not with the win but he does believe that the margin could have been bigger had Swapna and Tahura not squandered chances.
“The first match is always tough for any side and it was the same for us in today's match. Every team in South Asia trains round the year and improve like Bangladesh. However, the girls followed instructions from the first to the last minute and I believe the margin could have been bigger because they created many opportunities,” said Choton.