Players of Bangladesh (green) and Bhutan in action during a SAFF Women’s Championship Group A football match at the Shahid Stadium in Biratnagar on Thursday. Photo: Chuman Basnet/Republica
BIRATNAGAR, March 15: Bangladesh women national football team eventually strolled past against Bhutan women national football team in the second group A match during the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Women’s Championship being held at the Shahid Stadium, Biratnagar on Thursday.
Bangladesh’s 2-0 win meant Bhutan lost its second group game after losing the first match 3-0 against Nepal in the opening encounter.
Both Bangladesh and Nepal have qualified for the semi-finals with a last group game scheduled for Saturday. Both teams will look for the top finish in order to face the second placed team from the concurrent group B in the semis.
Bhutan women put up a rejuvenated performance after their one-sided loss against Nepal in the previous match. Complimented by a solid defense, Bhutan matches Bangladesh in the first half to keep their chances alive in the tournament.
Bangladesh, eventually, emerged as the better side in the match working on its strategy and tactics in the half-time to register an overwhelming possession and more shots on target to challenge Bhutan that had a good defending game.
Bangladesh opened its account in the 46th minute through Mishrat Jahan Moushumi who timed her jump to perfection to head off Monika Chakma’s corner kick to put Bangladesh 1-0 up in first minute after the break. It was her first international goal for the nation.
Likewise, Bangladesh finally sealed the match in the 85th minute with its skipper Sabina Khatun registering her name in the score-sheet.
Bhutan had couple of good chances going forward but struggled to keep possession as Bangladesh negotiated challenges with ease. Bhutanese goalkeeper Sangita Mongar was busier than her Bangladeshi counterpart Rupna Chakma throughout the match.
Bangladesh head coach Md. Golam Rabbani expressed his satisfactions in his side’s performance ahead of the knock-out round. “Bhutan played well defensively but our players did well in the match to win. They were able to keep the constant pressure on Bhutan throughout the match,” he said. “Nepal can be a dangerous side in home conditions but our performance today has assured me of good performance against them in our match.”
Bhutan coach Sung Jea Lee praised Bhutan’s rejuvenated first half performance. “We played better today creating few chances against the team which are technically similar in strengths with Nepal. However, Nepal’s home conditions will help them to edge Bangladesh.”
Maldives, who was defeated 6-0 in the first match against India on Wednesday, will face Sri Lanka in second match of the group B on Friday in a must-win match to stay in the competition.