Bangladesh coach Golam Rabbani Choton blamed luck and credited Nepal goalkeeper Anjana Rana Magar after the home side were held to a goalless draw in their opening SAFF U-19 Women’s Championship fixture in Dhaka on Saturday night.
Bangladesh, the defending champions of the tournament, hit the woodwork in the second minute of the match and had a number of attempts on goal, but the Nepal defense and the goalkeeper held firm for the rest of the match.
“It was bad luck. We had the ball most of the time and created many chances. We tried everything. Akhi (Khatun) hit the post in the second minute. Then the goalkeeper made a brilliant save against Monika (Chakma) towards the end. I should also credit the Nepal goalkeeper too for a great game,” the Bangladesh coach said.
Bangladesh had beaten Nepal twice on their way to winning the title in the last edition of the event, then known as SAFF U-18 Women’s Championship in Bhutan in 2018. So when asked whether Nepal have improved a lot or Bangladesh could not improve in these three years, Choton said,
“Nepal is always very good in women’s football. But we have been improving too. We played well. It was just bad luck that we didn’t win,” Choton said. “I’m still optimistic about reaching the final.”
Bangladesh will meet Bhutan, who thrashed Sri Lanka 5-0 in the tournament opener on Saturday, in their second match tomorrow.
India is the fifth team in the tournament. All five teams will play against each other once before the top two teams meet in the final on December 22.