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India break Bangladesh hearts to lift U-15 title
BDchronicle: Bangladesh Under-15 women’s football team’s hopes of retaining the SAFF Under-15 Women’s Championship title was dashed when they lost to India 0-1 in the final at the Changlimithang Stadium in Thimpu, Bhutan on Saturday.
Sunita Munda struck the all-important strike in the 66th minute for India. This was a sweet revenge for the Indian girls who lost to Bangladesh by identical margin in the maiden edition of the championship in Dhaka last year.
Bangladesh created a lot of scoring opportunities in the final 20 minutes of the game but failed to utilise those chances into goals.
With this victory, India also broke the Bangladesh’s nine-match winning streak.
India could take the lead in the very fourth minute of the game but Avika Singh saw her free-kick from just outside the box hit the woodwork.
Bangladesh got the first real chance in the 43rd minute when Sajeda found Indian keeper alone but her shot from inside the box went over the post.
India went ahead in the 66th minute when Sunita Munda’s side volley from the six-yard box following a cross of Lynda Kom found the back of net past Bangladesh keeper Mahmuda.
Monika almost equalised the score-line in the 76th minute but she saw her left-footed long range effort hit the woodwork.
Tahura Khatun also saw her left-footed shot from top of the box hit the side post.
Tahura wasted the simplest of chances to equalise in the second last minute of the five-minute added time when her header following a cross of Rojina Akhter went just inches wide despite finding empty net.
Bangladesh coach Golam Rabbani Choton couldn’t believe such a simple miss from Tahura.
‘It was really unbelievable. I really don’t understand how she could miss the chance from just a handshaking distance,’ said Choton after the match.
However, the experienced coach claimed that it was just a bad day for his girls.
‘These girls won nine matches in a row so we should not judge their ability in just one defeat,’ said Choton.
‘I’m happy with the way they performed in the final because they gave their best in the second half.
‘It was hard luck for us because our two attempts were denied by the post. We also created a series of chances while India got only one chance and they utilised it properly.’
Choton also believed that this defeat would help his charges to become mentally stronger in future.
‘It will be a great lesson for them because they never faced such failure. I think they will learn from it and will play better football in the coming tournament,’ he said.
Bangladesh team will return home on Monday.