Women's handball team face India in final
Bangladesh women's handball team set up a gold-medal deciding match against hosts India after handing a 33-28 defeat to Nepal in the second semifinal at the Lakshmibai National Institute of Physical Education ground in Sonapur, Guwahati yesterday.
The Bangladesh women hardly get any chance to play in international tournaments, but they proved their worth by reaching the final with an unbeaten record in their maiden appearance in the South Asian Games. And this feat is being considered as their best success even though Bangladesh had clinched the AHF Challenge Cup in Pakistan at an age-level tournament in 2014.
Bangladesh went into the semifinal match on the back-foot with injured goalkeeper Sushila standing under the bar following the departure of first-choice goalkeeper Shila Roy, who had to leave India due to the demise of her mother. Sushila was given injection to heal her pain and the goalkeeper was virtually the unsung heroine of the game as she thwarted a lot of attacks from Nepal.
Despite the feeble defence and poor attack, Bangladesh led the first half by 13-11 goals and coach Didar Hossain brought positional changes which worked well. Nishi and Shilpi were unstoppable as they scored eight goals each while Shirin, Dalia, Sumi and Khaleda scored six, five, four and two goals respectively.
“We have come to India with a target of reaching the final and it has been achieved. Now we are looking forward to winning the gold medal,” said captain Shahida Khatun.
“There is nothing to be afraid of about India. We will be trying to deliver our best. Please pray for us so that we can hold the country's honour.
“It is bad luck for us not to get the main goalkeeper while the second goalkeeper has been suffering from an injury in her hand but we were confident of beating Nepal,” added Shahida.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh men's team suffered a 19-34 goals defeat against Pakistan and will now be playing the bronze-deciding match against the losing team of the second semifinal between Nepal and India.