Dramatic Joint Victory Declared in SAFF U19 Women’s Championship as India and Bangladesh Share Honors

DHAKA: In a thrilling and unprecedented turn of events, India and Bangladesh were declared joint champions of the SAFF U19 Women’s Championship after an intense clash at the BSSSMK Stadium in Dhaka on Thursday, February 8, 2024.

India, led by an early goal from Sibani Devi Nongmeikapam, seemed poised for victory, but a last-minute equalizer by Sagorika for the hosts took the game into a nail-biting penalty shootout. Remarkably, after an extraordinary shoot-out ended in a 11-11 deadlock with every player successfully converting their penalties, a coin toss was initially won by India. However, the decision was later revoked, leading to more than two hours of suspense before the trophy was ultimately shared.

This marks India’s fourth age-group title in women’s SAFF competition history and the first on Bangladeshi soil, adding a historic chapter to the tournament.

Despite Bangladesh’s dominance in possession during the first half, it was India’s incisiveness that set the tone for the match. Sibani’s early goal showcased their attacking prowess, and although India failed to maintain their lead, the game provided an entertaining spectacle for football enthusiasts.

The local football community’s anticipation for a potential back-to-back title for Bangladesh drew a large crowd to the stadium, creating a festive atmosphere with drums, bugles, flags, and banners.

India’s captain, Nitu Linda, demonstrated exemplary vision in releasing Sibani for the opening goal, setting the stage for a tightly contested encounter. However, Bangladesh fought back as Sagorika found the net in injury time, mirroring her earlier goal against India in the group stage.

Throughout the match, the Young Tigresses demonstrated efficiency in their attacking plays, leaving the hosts struggling to contain their advances. The game showcased moments of brilliance, with both teams having opportunities to secure victory in regular time.

After the dramatic shootout, where every player on the pitch scored, the AIFF Acting Secretary General, Mr. M Satyanarayan, stated that India, despite initially being declared winners, decided to share the trophy due to simmering tensions and disturbances among the home fans. The priority, he emphasized, was the security of players and team officials.

This joint victory adds an unexpected twist to the SAFF U19 Women’s Championship, leaving football fans in awe of the skill, determination, and sportsmanship displayed by both India and Bangladesh.

AIFFBSSSMK Stadium in DhakaIndia and BangladeshSAFF U19 Women's Championship