Nepal female footballers start SAG campaign with a win

Shillong, Feb 5 (IANS) Nepal women’s football team on Friday won its maiden match against Bangladesh in the 12th South Asian Games at the Jawaharlal Nehru Sports Stadium here.

The Himalayan team started the campaign with a convincing 3-0 win in its first match held on the opening day of the eight-nation South Asian Games.

The Nepali women drew their first blood as early as in the third minute with Dipa Adhikari finding the back of the net. Dipa found Bangladesh’s custodian Sabina Akter out of her area to score an easy goal.

The following minutes saw Bangladesh threaten to come back as they maintained possession and tested Nepal’s midfield on a few occasions. But Nepal girls scored again, this time forward Anu Lama breaking the Bangladeshi defence and scoring from a close range.

Four minutes later, Niru Thapa made it three for Nepal with a comfortable placement following a short pass from within the box. Thapa nearly scored her side’s fourth goal but a valiant save by Sabina Akter denied Nepal a further advantage.

Bangladesh tried their best to make a comeback in the second half but failed to produce any heroics.

Skipper Sabina Khatun, who was the lone threat in the initial half, came close to scoring in the 83rd minute but her free kick smashed into the crossbar. In the end, however, Nepal held their nerves to emerge triumphant 3-0.

“Our plan was to attack and watch out for the counter attacks in the first half. I was worried about this match but we won. Despite this, I’m not completely satisfied with our performance as we did not show our potential,” a contended Nepal’s coach Dhruba Bahadur said at post match conference.

Bangladeshi coach Golam Robbani Choton admitted that his team made mistakes in the first half of the game, but said his side was more organised and tried their best in the second half.

“Nepal is a very strong team. We will come up with a good plan for the next game,” he went on to say.

Nepal will face the Maldives on February 7.

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