The Blue Tigresses have ended as Group A runners-up.

The Indian Women’s Team suffered a 0-3 loss at the hands of Bangladesh in their third match of the SAFF Women’s Championship at the Dasharath Stadium in Kathmandu on Tuesday, September 13, 2022. MS Jahan Shopna netted a brace for Bangladesh, while Srimoti Sarkar got one to her name, to hand the defeat to India. However, this defeat had no impact on India’s semifinal qualification, as the Blue Tigresses had already booked their spot in the last four.

Bangladesh had the early impetus, and took the lead on the 12th minute, when Sarkar threaded a ball through to Shopna, who slotted in between two defenders, and sent it past the keeper, to put her side in the lead.

India had their first chance of the game on the 19th, when Anju Tamang earned a free-kick 22 yards from goal. Youngster Priyangka Devi stepped up to the dead ball, but curled it just wide of the woodwork.

Minutes later, Sarkar doubled Bangladesh’s lead, as she darted into the Indian box from the left flank and finished past the keeper.

India tried to attempt several long diagonals to catch the Bangladeshi high-line off guard, but to no avail, as the first half soon came to an end with the latter taking a two-goal lead into the tunnel.

The Blue Tigresses started off well in the second half, and soon earned a free-kick on the right flank, that was sent in by Priyangka, towards Renu, who had broken free of her marker. However, the ball took an awkward bounce off the turn, ricocheted off Renu’s stomach and went safely into Bangladesh keeper Rupna Chakma’s hands.

As the golden opportunity was missed, there was more misery in store for the Indians a few minutes later. Bangladesh captain Sabina Khatun broke free on a counter attack and fed a through pass to Shopna, who duly rounded the keeper and slotted it into the net, making it three for her side.

India head coach Suren Chettri brought in the chances, as he introduced Soumya Guguloth and Kiran Pisda into the game, in place of Ratanbala Devi and Sandhiya Ranganathan. The changes did bear some fruit in the form of a few attacks, as Anju Tamang often linked up with Soumya, to orchestrate a few attacks on the right. However, the Bangladesh defence stood firm and saw out the danger, taking home the three points.

Bangladesh top Group A with 9 points, having won their three games, and will face Bhutan in the semi-final on September 16, while India will take on Nepal, in the other playoff on the same day at the same venue.

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