Hosts Bangladesh got their campaign off to a winning start beating Nepal 3-1 in their opening fixture of the SAFF U-20 Women’s Championship at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur on Friday.
Bangladesh took only three minutes to break the deadlock when Aklima Khatun raced on to a long-ball from Shaheda Akter Ripa and beat the Nepal goalkeeper Kabita with a placing shot. The lead was doubled 10 minutes later, with captain Shamsunnahar finding the back of the net following another long-ball from inside the Bangladesh half.
Nepal, however, pulled one back in the 24th minute, courtesy of Manmaya Damai whose effort had help from the post as it nestled in.
Just as Nepal were looking desperately for an equaliser, Bangladesh sealed the victory with Ripa finding the far corner of the net with a wonderful volley from just outside the box in the first minute of stoppage time.
In the opening game of the four-team championship, defending champions India blanked Bhutan 12-0, with Neha, Lynda Kom and Anita Kumari getting hattricks. Apurna Narzary scored the first two goals for India while Nitu Linda scored the other for India, who led the first half 4-0.
Bangladesh will play against India while Nepal will take on Bhutan on the second match day on Sunday.