Kathmandu, February 13
Nepal and Myanmar advanced to the final of the Hero Women’s Gold Cup at the expense of India and Iran in Bhuwaneshwor today.
In the last round matches, Nepal thrashed Iran 3-0 riding on a brace from Sabitra Bhandari, while Myanmar beat hosts India 2-0. Unbeaten Myanmar made it to the final with maximum nine points from three matches, while Nepal finished second with six points.
India finished with three points, while Iran crashed out without scoring a goal.
Nepal and Myanmar will contest in the final match on Friday. Nepal had begun the campaign with a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Myanmar before beating India 2-1 for their maiden victory over the South Asian giants. Sabitra Bhandari had scored a brace against India.
On Wednesday, Bhandari scored two goals and Anita Basnet added one as Nepal registered their second straight victory in the fourteam tournament. Basnet opened the scoring for Nepal in the 41st minute with a scorcher following a cross from Gita Rana.
Bhandari extended the tally in the 59th minute with her third goal of the tournament.
Bhandari beat the offside trap before dodging the goalkeeper to tap in an empty net. Bhandari, who had struck twice in the space of two minutes against India on Monday, put the issue beyond doubt with her second goal of the match. She picked the ball in the opposition half and found the back of nets with a long-range shot in the dying moment of the match taking her personal tally to four.
Iran put up a dominant show in the first half and created a couple of scoring opportunities.
But they found it hard against Nepali defense and goalkeeper. Nepal have taken the tournament as the final preparation for the SAFF Women’s Championship to be held in Biratnagar next month.
A version of this article appears in print on February 14, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.