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Bangladesh girls thrash India, retain title : AFC U-14 GIRLS’ REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP

12The future of women’s football in Bangladesh is all set for a bright future as the Under-14 national side continued their outstanding display in the AFC U-14 Girls’ Regional Championship, clinching their second successive title beating neighbours India in the grand finale in Tajikistan last Sunda

This is only the second ever title for any Bangladesh women’s team, senior or age-level, in an international competition.

If anyone had the slightest hesitation that last year’s triumph was a fluke, last Sunday’s success would surely wash away all the doubts. The unbeaten Bangladesh girls were more organised, attacking and consistent compared to all the participating teams.

The girls in red and green outplayed rivals India 4-0 in the final in Dushanbe’s Aviator Stadium. They had also beaten India 3-1 in the group stage before thrashing Nepal 9-0 and hosts Tajikistan 9-1 in the semi-finals.

Eight players of the regular starting XI were also part of last year’s title-winning squad while the inclusion of the others in the 18-member contingent added more glamour and attacking verve to Golam Rabbani Choton’s outfit.

Last year’s star Sanjida, now a key member of the national side, was unable to make the trip this time around and in her absence it was Tohura Khatun who grabbed most of the limelight. Attacking midfielder Tohura, one of eight Kolsindur girls in the squad, was sensational throughout the tournament, netting 10 goals in four matches, including a hattrick in the final. Striker Anuching Mogini also starred for the Bangladesh team alongside a few others.

Bangladesh will now their attention to the AFC U-16 and U-19 Championship Qualifiers, scheduled for August and November respectively. If the current squad is continued to be nurtured with care then the Bangladesh fans can certainly hope for more success in the upcoming tournaments.