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India Falls to Bangladesh in SAFF U16 Women’s Championship

Kathmandu: In a hard-fought battle at the ANFA Sports Complex in Lalitpur, Nepal, India’s U16 women’s football team faced a setback against Bangladesh, losing 1-3 in the SAFF U16 Women’s Championship. Despite a valiant effort, the young Indian squad struggled against a robust Bangladesh team, marking a challenging encounter in the round-robin tournament.

The defeat propelled Bangladesh to the top of the group with six points from two matches, virtually securing them a spot in the final. On the other hand, India now faces a crucial match against Nepal to secure their place in the challenge round, having garnered three points from two matches.

The match saw an early lead for Bangladesh when Alpi Akter found the net in the ninth minute. India, however, responded in the 55th minute with a goal from Anushka Kumari, her fourth in the tournament. Despite the spirited comeback, defensive lapses allowed Bangladesh to secure two more goals, with Sauravi Akanda Prity scoring in the 79th minute and Arpita Biswas sealing the victory in the 89th minute.

The Indian team, led by coach Biby Thomas, displayed resilience and determination throughout the game. Captain Shveta Rani and Nira Chanu pressed hard from both flanks, attempting to breach the compact Bangladesh defense. While India suffered defensive lapses leading to goals, the young team showcased promise and determination.

In the second half, India demonstrated a strong start, with Shveta Rani’s powerful drive hitting the crossbar in the 50th minute. The breakthrough came with Anushka Kumari’s goal in the 55th minute, providing a glimmer of hope. However, Bangladesh’s defensive strength and strategic play ultimately secured the win for the opposition.

Despite the defeat, India’s young players earned praise for their performance. The team will now focus on the upcoming crucial match against Nepal, aiming to secure their place in the challenge round of the SAFF U16 Women’s Championship.

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