Nepal lose to B'desh 1-0 in the finals of SAFF U-18 C'ship

KATHMANDU: Nepal suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat at the hands of Bangladesh in the finals of SAFF U-18 Women's Football Championship at the Changlimithang Stadium in Thimpu, Bhutan, today.

Tiring Nepal fell behind to Bangladeshi midfielder Masura Parvin's strike in the 49th minute in the second half.

Parvin headed home from close following a free kick from her teammate from around 40 yards. Rekha Paudel had a chance to level the scores two minutes later but her shot hit the woodwork. She also failed to give finishing touch after a good move in the 72nd minute.

Nepal pressed hard in the later stages of game in search of an equaliser but to no avail. However, Bangladesh hang on to preserve their lead against the Himalayan nation to clinch the coveted trophy.

Nepal had made it to the finals by defeating arch-rival India 3-2 in the tiebreaker while Bangladesh had demolished the hosts Bhutan by 4-0. Earlier, Nepal had lost to Bangladesh 2-1 in the group stage game of the competition.

Meanwhile, India's Devneta Roy's solitary strike in the 72nd minute was enough against Bhutan to secure third position in the tournament.

Nepal's striker Rekha Paudel has racked up seven goals while Bangladeshi Mossammat Sirat Jahan Shopna tops the scoring chart with eight strikes.

The Nepali team will now compete in AFC U-19 Championship Qualifiers slated for October 24-28 in Thailand. Nepal are in Group B along with India, Thailand and Pakistan.