SAFF Women's Cup 2019: India ease past Bangladesh into the finals.
by Shubham Sharma
Kathmandu: Indian women's football team defeated Bangladesh by 4-0 courtesy a brace from Indumathi Kathiresan and a goal apiece from Dalima Chhiber and Manisha each to make into the finals of the competition for the fifth consecutive time in the last five years. India are the defending champions of the tournament.
The match begin with both the sides looking to impose a physical brand of football and Bangladesh tried to dominate the proceedings with physical prowess and pace, but Ashalata and Sweety Devi stood tall in the defence and did not allow any Bangladeshi forward a chance to threaten the scoreline.
Following the tense start, India got a break with a much needed corner at the 18th minute of the match. Sanju curled the ball from the corner and managed to find Dalima inside the box, and the right-back made no mistake and put the ball into the back of the net to give India the lead.
With the opener, the tempo of the game went a notch up and both the sides started creating good chances, making the game an end-to-end stuff. Mosammat Khatun close range efforts went skywards while Sanju's shot was saved in a one-on-one situation by the Bangladeshi custodian.
In the 23rd minute, India doubled the lead as midfielder Indumathi calmly slotted the ball into the back of the net after receiving a reverse-through ball from Sanju in front of the goal. The second goal caused panic in the Bangladeshi camp and they started trying their luck from distance but custodian Aditi Chauhan did not allow them any chance to reduce the deficit.
The Indian eves maintained patience in defending and launched a counter-attack in the 37th minute to achieve a 3-goal cushion. It was once again Indumathi who got another goal to her tally as Sanju and Sandhiya combined well upfront after receiving a ball from Dalima to dish out the ball to the midfielder.
In the second half, India held the possession well and managed to control the game. Sanju and Dangmei Grace caused problems from the flanks to the Bangladeshi defence with the latter almost managing to find the back of the net at the hour mark, but her shot went inches wide of the target.
Manisha came on a substitution later and started to threaten the Bangladeshi defence straightaway. Later in the dying minutes of the game, she latched onto a loose ball in the opposition defence to ease past the keeper, rounding and putting the ball into the back of the net to put the final nail in the coffin.
India will now face hosts Nepal in the final on 22nd March.