Women's football: All eyes on Thimpu

Syed Tashfin Chowdhury | Published: October 06, 2018 21:19:05 | Updated: October 10, 2018 21:21:54

Sanjida Akhter gave Bangladesh a dream start by striking in the first minute in the Bangladesh vs Bhutan semi-final on October 05.

The success of the Bangladesh teams in recent international women's football tournaments should drive the concerned authorities to strengthen support to these squads, at par with their male counterparts. That way, good results like the championship in the maiden Women's T20 Asia Cup in June of this year, can be achieved by the female booters.

The Bangladesh U-18 women's team will take on Nepal in the final match of the SAFF U-18 Women's Championship at the Changlimithang Stadium in Thimpu today. In this first edition of the tournament, they have been enjoying a winning streak from the very beginning. They will hopefully keep this winning momentum in the final match too.

On October 05, in the second semi-final match of the tournament, Bangladeshi booters took a 1-0 lead by the second minute when Sanjida Akhter's shot from the top corner of the box flew 25-yards straight into the net. With another goal from skipper Mishrat Jahan Mousumi, Bangladesh had a 2-0 lead by the end of the first half. Strikers Krishna Rani Sarkar and Shamsunnahar destroyed any chances of Bhutan equalising by scoring two more goals in the 60th and 86th minute-mark of the match respectively.

The number of goals in the Bangladesh-Bhutan match may seem high to those who have not followed this tournament.

During their first match of the tournament on September 30, 2018, Bangladesh scored 17 goals to nil against Pakistan. The flurry of goals came from Sirat Jahan Shopna (7), Marzia (4), Sheuly Azim (2) and one goal each from Misrat Jahan Mousumi, Akhi Khatun, Krishna Rani Sarker and Tahura Khatun in the match. By the end of the first half, Bangladesh was the clear winner as the score stood at 8-0 goals.

 After the final whistle when Bangladesh had scored 17 goals, the match went on to become a milestone for the country. This was Bangladesh's biggest ever win in any competitive football match at any level of this game.

This victory also helped Bangladesh become the group champions and secure a semi-final spot in the tournament.

The red and green team did not let the 17-0 score and the semi-final position go to their head. In fact, they kept their cool and on October 02, beat Nepal with a score of 2-1. As such, they will play the final match today against Nepal as the favourites.

There is a sobering thought, however. Two months back, the Bangladesh U-15 women's team had reached the finals of the 2018 SAFF U-15 Women's Championship. They lost the championship to India by 1-0.

One only hopes that the Under-18 team would learn a lesson or two from their junior sisters, the Under-15 team, and lift the maiden SAFF Under-18 Women's Championship trophy.


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