Women BD Desk:
Bangladesh girls qualified for the final of the Saff U-15 Championship after edging Nepal 2-1 in their second and penultimate group stage match at Changlimithang Stadium in Thimphu, Bhutan Friday.
Forward Shaheda Akter Ripa gave Bangladesh the lead in the 12nd minute with a brilliant solo run and finish while captain and midfielder Shamsunnahar doubled the score in the 26th minute from the penalty spot.
Striker Amisha Karki pulled one back in the 64th minute but the girls in red and green held on till the final whistle to book their final ticket in the third edition of the regional age-level competition.
Finalist India are the reigning champion while Bangladesh will be looking to clinch their second title after 2017 when the two teams face off against each other at the same venue Tuesday.
Before that though, the sub-continent rivals will lock horns with each other in the dress rehearsal for the final Sunday.
Both India and Bangladesh have maximum six points from two matches each but the former top the points table courtesy a superior goal difference.
Host Bhutan and Nepal are out of the tournament.
Bangladesh had earlier began their campaign with a 2-0 win over host Bhutan Wednesday.
“I am grateful to Almighty Allah. Before leaving Dhaka, we had targeted reaching the final for the third time, despite having a newly formed team. We are into the final after winning two matches. On behalf of the coaching staff, I’d like to congratulate my players, who played for the country with their hearts on their sleeves,” said Choton after the game.
“We hope the people back home will pray for us so that the girls can win the final. Our girls will learn a few things from the India game (Sunday) and we have already gained experience in the first two matches,” he added.
Bangladesh U-15 2 (Ripa 12, Shamsunnahar 26-P) 1 Nepal U-15 (Karki 64)