Bangladesh confirmed the final berth of the SAFF U-15 Women’s Championship following a 2-1 win against Nepal in their second match at Changlimithang Stadium in Thimphu yesterday.
With two successive victories, Bangladesh and India topped the four-team group with six points each, but the latter are ahead on goal difference as India saw off Bhutan with a massive 10-1 win in the day’s second match.
On the back of a 2-0 win over Bhutan in the previous match, Bangladesh squared off against Nepal with sights on the final berth while Nepal, having lost 4-1 against defending champions India, had no alternative but to beat Bangladesh to stay in the race for the last four.
The charges of Golam Rabbani Choton dominated the game from the outset and twice came close to taking the lead before Shaheda Akter Ripa, who also scored against Bhutan, opened the account in the 12th minute, dribbling past three players with ease before finishing calmly with a right-footed shot.
Bangladesh kept on mounting pressure for the second goal and the pressure paid off when Nepal defender Pratiksha Chaudhary handled the ball inside the box 12 minutes later. Captain Shamsunnahar converted the spot-kick to double Bangladesh’s lead.
Bangladesh began the second half promisingly but Nepal clawed their way back into the game after forward Amisha Karki collected a loose ball outside the area and chipped it over Bangladesh goalkeeper Rupna Chakma in the 64th minute. Bangladesh, however, held on to one-goal advantage to end the match.
Bangladesh will take on India tomorrow in their last group fixture before playing the final on October 15 against the same side while already-eliminated Bhutan and Nepal will play their last match tomorrow.