In first friendly, Nepal women’s football team defeats Bangladesh with goals from debutantes

The match marked a debut for the Nepali women football team at Dasharath Rangasala.

Prasun Sangroula

  • Read Time 2 min.

Kathmandu: Nepali women’s football team beat Bangladesh by two goals to one in a friendly match on Thursday at Dasharath Rangasala in Kathmandu.

Two debutantes for Nepal, Sabita Rana and Preeti Rai, scored each for the host team. Tohura Khatun scored for Bangladesh. 

Nepal took an early lead at the 14th minute into the game. Sabita Rana utilized a cross pass from Bimala Chaudhary to head it home.

The host team scored another goal in the 23rd minute. Preeti Rai, another debutante, scored the second goal with an assist from Saru Limbu. Rai, 16, was the captain of the under-15 national football team. 

Nepal’s Srijana Singh and Rashmi Kumari Ghising also made their debut in today’s match.

Along with two goals in the first half, Nepal also created few chances while Bangladesh was not able to create any notable chances.

Rai created another chance in the 49th minute but Bangladeshi goalkeeper Rupna Chakma made a remarkable save.

Bangladesh scored its first goal in the 84th minute through substitute Tohura Khatun, who made a solo run for a wonderful finish.

Both the teams are preparing for the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup Qualifiers. Nepal has been drawn alongside the Philippines and Hong Kong in Group ‘F’ for the tournament to be played in Uzbekistan. 

Speaking during the post-match conference, Bangladesh coach Gollam Robani Chottani appeared confident despite the loss. “The girls played very well after a long time,” he said. “In the second half, we improved our game. We can take note of mistakes from this match and give better performance in the next match.”

Gary Phillips, coach for Nepal, said, “I was happy with some of the footballing but we didn’t play completely quality football. The structure of grass made it difficult to play for us as most of our practicing sessions took place in artificial grounds.”

Debutante and goal scorer Rai said that her side played a good game overall. “We need more improvement and we will do that in our next match,” Rai said. “I will also try to improve my personal game.”

The match marked a debut for the Nepali women football team at Dashrath Rangasala.

The team, who began their international journey in 1986 through AFC Women’s Championship in Hong Kong, had not played a single international match at the Dasharath Stadium.

Nepal has never lost a match against Bangladesh in their six previous seven face-offs. The last match between the two sides took place at the 2019 SAFF Championship in which Nepal won 3-0. Out of six games, Nepal won five of them and played to a draw on one occasion during the Olympics Qualifier first round in Myanmar in 2018.

Both the teams are preparing for the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup Qualifiers. Nepal has been drawn alongside the Philippines and Hong Kong in Group ‘F’ for the tournament to be played in Uzbekistan.

According to the latest FIFA rankings, Nepal Women’s Team stands at 101st position while Bangladesh has been ranked 137th.

The second friendly is slated for Sunday.

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