Thursday, 18 August, 2022

Bangladesh girls eye SAFF Championship final: Choton

  • Sports Correspondent
  • 28 June, 2022 12:00 AM
  • Print news

Bangladesh women’s national football team head coach Golam Rabbani Choton said on Monday that they are eyeing the final of the upcoming SAFF Championship.

The 6th edition of SAFF Women’s Championship is scheduled to be held from August 12–24 in Nepal. The fixture is yet to be confirmed.

“We are eyeing the SAFF Championship final as it’s the top tier regional competition,” Choton told The Daily Sun after completing a successful campaign against Malaysia on Sunday.

“Girls are boosted with confidence after this series victory. Now we want to maintain this performance in the forthcoming SAFF event. There are only two teams of SAFF -- India and Nepal -- who are ahead of us in rankings,” he said.

India are the most successful team in SAFF as they clinched all titles of SAFF Women’s Championship in 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2019. Nepal became runners-up four times in 2010, 2012, 2014, 2019 while Bangladesh only one time in 2016.

Bangladesh earlier played two friendly matches against Nepal before their campaign in Women’s Asian Cup Qualifiers last September. The team lost by 1-2 goals in the first match while they played a goalless draw in the second match against the Himalayan nation.

Choton believes that his team are able to give the hosts Nepal a tough competition as they showed an extraordinary performance in a two-match home series against Malaysia. 

“We have a great chance to play in the SAFF final. The girls played very competitively against Nepal in two practice matches ahead of Asian women’s qualifiers. They are the hosts of SAFF, but we are now confident to beat them,” he added.

Bangladesh clinched a two-match (FIFA Tier-1) Bashundhara Group FIFA International Women’s Football Series beating Malaysia on Sunday at the Bir Shrestha Shaheed Sepoy Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur. Bangladesh played a goalless (0-0) draw in the second and last match while they registered a huge victory over their Malaysian counterparts by 6-0 goals in the first match on Thursday.

“We played as per the plan. We put full pressure on them but they (Malaysia) were too defencive in the second match. Our girls played their natural football but they failed to show their worth as an upper-ranked side,” Choton said, criticising the Malaysian tactics in the second and last game of the series. 

“Their plan was for a draw. They tried to waste time anyhow. They ruined the beauty of football. Whatever the result was, the big achievement of this series was that our team became confident and showed their improvements,” the head coach concluded.

Meanwhile, the booters are currently on Eid break. The camp for SAFF Championship will begin on July 12.