KATHMANDU: Nepal romped to 3-0 victory over Bhutan in the opening fixture of the 5th edition of SAFF Women’s Championship 2019 at the Sahid Rangasala in Biratnagar, on Tuesday.
Nepal scored two first-half goals and added another in the second half. Midfielder Manjali Kumari Yonjan, striker Sabitra Bhandari and skipper Niru Thapa were on the scoresheet in a comfortable victory today.
Yonjan broke the deadlock for the hosts in the 13th minute before lethal poacher Bhandari scored her first and team’s second goal in the 16th minute of the game.
Striker Bhandari missed a glorious chance to score her brace in the 42nd minute as she failed to beat the onrushing Bhutanese custodian in a one-verse-one situation against the run-of-play.
Moments later, Anita Basnet’s fierce pile driver was acrobatically thwarted by the opposition goalkeeper Sangita Monger.
In the second half, Bhandari amended her miss with a sublime assist to captain Niru Thapa as she struck a sweetly-timed volley into the far corner in the 55th minute of the game.
After going three goals down, it was an uphill task for the visiting team against the in-form hosts, buoyed after being runner-ups of the Hero Women’s Gold Cup in India recently.
Nepal’s goalkeeper Anjila Tumbapo Subba was a mere-spectator as she was never called into action during the entire match.
Although Nepal created many goal scoring opportunities in the second half, their finishing let them down and had to settle for a 3-0 goal win against the tired looking opponent.
Nepal are pitted in Group A along with Bhutan and Bangladesh; India, Maldives and Sri Lanka are in Group B.
The hosts will play their second and final group match against Bangladesh on March 16 at the same stadium. The top two teams from each group will progress into the next round of the competition, ANFA said.