Kathmandu, February 15
Nepal faced a 3-1 defeat against Myanmar in the final of the Hero Women’s Gold Cup in Bhubaneswar, India today.
The loss was second for Nepal against Myanmar — who are ranked 44 in FIFA standing — in the tournament. The Nepali side — who are at the 108th position — had suffered a 3-0 loss in the opening encounter between the two teams. Nepal then bounced back to make it to the final as the runners-up after beating heavyweights India and Iran in the next two league round matches.
After going down to Myanmar in the opening match, Nepal beat 62nd ranked India 2-1 to stay in contention. Nepal then thrashed 60th ranked Iran 3-0 in the final league match to accumulate six points in the four-team competition. On the other hand, Myanmar remained unbeaten in the league round and advanced to the final with perfect nine points. India earned three points, while Iran even failed to score a single goal in the tournament.
On Friday, Myanmar opened the scoring in the 35th minute when Yee Yee Oo found the back of the nets with a powerful strike from close range.
Nepal levelled the scores moments before the break. Manjali Kumari Yonjon beat past diving Myanmar goalkeeper with a left-footed volley following a free kick from Gita Rana in the 45th minute.
Win Theingi Tun restored Myanmar’s lead in the 53rd minute before Yee Yee Oo extended the lead in the 63d minute with her second goal of the match.
Nepal has taken the tournament as the final preparation for the Women’s SAFF Championship to be held in Biratnagar, eastern Nepal from March 12-22. Nepal are in Group A along with Bangladesh, Bhutan and Pakistan, while India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives are in Group B of the fifth edition of the tournament. India are the four-time defending champions, while Nepal finished as runners-up in the first three editions and Bangladesh came second in 2016.
A version of this article appears in print on February 16, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.