Nepal suffers second consecutive defeat in SAFF U-18 Women’s Championship

NL Today

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Kathmandu: Nepal suffered its second consecutive defeat in the SAFF U-18 Women’s Championship going down 4-2 against Bangladesh in JRD TATA Sports Complex in Jamshedpur on Thursday.

Having lost the opening match against hosts India, Nepal fell behind in the first minute when Afeida Khandekar headed in from a corner. Bangladesh had won the corner when Nepal stopper Sabitri Kishan blocked Shahada Akter Ripa’s goal-bound shot for the set-piece.

Nepal leveled the game in the 30th minute when Dipa Shahi’s long-range shot sailed into the net. It was the first goal scored by Nepal in the tournament.

Bangladesh, however, took advantage of poor defending coupled with unrhythmic gameplay by Nepal and took a three-goal lead by half-time.

Aklima Khatun restored Bangladesh’s lead in the 33rd minute before Eity Khatun made it 3-1 a minute later. Ripa scored the team’s fourth goal in the 43rd minute.

Nepal improved in the second half and some brilliant passing in the final few minutes of the game saw Amisha Karki rounding off the goalkeeper and scoring Nepal’s second. Nepal fared much better in the second half but it was too little and too late for the side.

Nepal faces an extremely uphill task to stay in contention for the title. It will now play against hosts India on March 21 before taking on Bangladesh two days later. The leader of the table after the double-round robin format will be crowned champions.