Bangladesh’s hopes of playing in the final for the second successive time was dashed when they lost to defending champions India 0-4 in the second semi-final of the fifth SAFF Women’s Championship at the Sahid Rangashala Stadium in Biratnagar, Nepal on Wednesday.
Indumati Katheresan struck twice between a goal each from Dalima Chibber and Manisha to keep India in the chase of their fifth successive title of the competition.
Bangladesh, the beaten finalists in the previous edition in 2016, were unable to compete against an well-organised Indian side, who led the first-half 3-0 and added their fourth goal a minute before the final whistle.
Dalima flicked into an open net to put India 1-0 after a corner kick of Sanju slipped from the grip of Bangladesh goalkeeper Rupna Chakma.
Midfielder Sanju, who was outstanding throughout the game, then teed up India’s second goal in 23rd minute providing Indumati with a perfect cross to fire home into left corner of the post.
After going 2-0 down, Bangladesh pressed hard to make a comeback into the game, but conceded their third goal from a counter-attack as Indumati redirected a cross of Sandhiya Ranganathan into the post in the 37th minute.
‘It is really good that we’ve won the semi-final and reached the final. (But) we have to play way better against Nepal to be the champions,’ Indumati said after the match.
‘I scored at a crucial time and it’s due to the team support,’ she added.
Manisha added a late fourth goal in an otherwise quiet second half scoring from another precise cross of Sanju.
Bangladesh started their campaign with a 2-0 win against Bhutan before conceding a 0-3 defeat against hosts Nepal in their final Group A match.
India will now take on Nepal in Friday’s final. Both India and Nepal were yet to concede any goal so far in the in the tournament.
The home side defeated Sri Lanka by an identical margin in the first-semi-final to book their place in the final for the fourth time.
In a stunning second-half display, Anita Basnet, Sabitra Bhandari and substitute Rekha Poudel scored one goal each after defender Punam Jargha Magar put Nepal 1-0 ahead at the end of first half.
Source: New Age.