India clinch maiden SAFF U-18 Women’s Championship title
The young Tigresses liftef the trophy despite a narrow defeat to Bangladesh in their final match.
India U-18 girls emerged champions of the SAFF U-18 Women’s Championship 2022 at the JRD TATA Sports complex in Jamshedpur today (March 25, 2022). India emerged as champions enjoying a better goal difference, +11 in comparison to +3 from Bangladesh.
The valuable player of the tournament and the highest goal scorer was Lynda Kom who scored five goals in total.
In the last match of the championship, Bangladesh scraped past India by a solitary goal. India, however, had seized the initiative early as in the five minute, Shubhangi managed to find some space in the opposition box and went for a shot which went directly to Bangladesh custodian Rupna.India were unlucky to be denied by the post in the 40th minute when Nitu, all in the clear, placed it past Rupna only to see the ball bouncing off the post, and straight into Rupna’s hands — as both teams headed to the interval locked goalless. Changing over, Head Coach Thomas Dennerby brought in Poonam in place of Shubhangi in the 46th minute.
In the 60th minute, the captain Shilky Devi went for a shot from a long range but an agile Rupna was not to be beaten. Couple of substitutions followed as Martina and Sunita were replaced by Naketa, and Amisha respectively.
With time running out for Bangladesh, they went all out in the attack, and Priyanka put them into the lead in the 74th minute with a shot from outside the box.
The defeat was India’s first in the tournament. They ended it with three wins and a loss in four matches. The young Blue Tigresses started their campaign with a thrashing win over Nepal, before scrapping past Bangladesh in their next. Thomas Dennerby’s side then once again mauled Nepal making them the favourites to win the title. All India needed was to avoid defeat by more than one goal in their final match against Bangladesh to clinch the title.
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