Bangladesh National Women’s Football Team are all set to take defending champions India in the second semi-final of the SAFF Women’s Championship scheduled to be held today at the Shahid Rangashala in Biratnagar, Nepal.
The second semi-final between the two neighbours will kick off at 3:00pm (BST). Hosts Nepal will meet Sri Lanka in the first semi-final at 11:15am on the same day and same venue.In the last meeting between the two sides, it was India that finished on top with a 7-1 scoreline at the 2020 Olympic Qualifiers Round 1 in November 2018 in Myanmar.
Bangladesh head coach Golam Robbani Choton said: “The previous result is not on our minds. This is a knockout fixture, so it will be a different ballgame.”
The last two matches at the SAFF Championship have seen India seize the initiative in attack right from the word go, with the first goals coming in the first 10 minutes of the games on both occasions.
The coach feels that their opponents will be wary of the same and it will make the match more exciting.
“I’m sure the match will be interesting and good to watch. We will play our attacking game and even if we do not get an early goal, we will get them sooner or later. Bangladesh will come out strong and the girls will respond too and with all guns blazing,” the coach stated.
Bangladesh team have a good news that their talented forward Kristina Rani Sarkar, who missed the last two matches due to knee injury, will play in the semi-final against India.Earlier, Bangladesh reached the last four stage of the meet as the Group A runners-up losing to hosts Nepal by 0-3 goals in their second match after beating Bhutan by 2-0 goals in the first match while India storm into semi-final as Group B champion with all-win record outplaying the Maldives by 6-0 goals and Sri Lanka by 5-0 goals.
The Himalayan nation and hosts Nepal reached the semi-finals as the Group A champions with all-win record beating Bhutan and Bangladesh by 3-0 goals each while Bangladesh a managed semi-final berth as the Group A runners-up eliminating Bhutan by 2-0 goals.
With the shocking defeat on Saturday, Bangladesh senior women’s team failed to beat Nepal playing four matches, conceding third defeat in the SAFF Championship suffering 0-3 defeat in the SAFF semi-final in Cox’s Bazar in 2010, 0-1 goal defeat in the Islamabad SAFF in 2014 apart from 0-3 defeat in Biratnagar.
Bangladesh played out a 1-1 draw against the Himalayan country in the Olympic Qualifiers in Myanmar in November last year.
The final of the championship is slated on March 22.
Bangladesh squad: Mahmuda Akter, Rupna Chakma, Yasmin Akther, Masura Parvin, Mossammat Akhi Khatun, Mossammat Nargis Khatun, Nilufa Yasmin Nila, Shamsunnahar-1, Sheuli Azim, Mossammat Mishrat Jahan Moushumi, Maria Manda, Monika Chakma, Mossammat Ishrat Jahan Ratna, Sanjida Akhter, Marzia, Mossammat Sirat Jahan Shopna, Sabina Khatun, Srimoti Krishnarani Sarkar, Mossammat Razia Khatun, Shamsunnahar-2 and Tohura Khatun.