Women footballers provide respite to Nepali camp

DHAKA: After the disappointing exit in the men's football, Nepali women’s team injected a new hope with a crushing 8-0 victory over Sri Lanka here at the 11th South Asian Games today.

Jamuna Gurung, who scored the decider in their 1-0 win over Bangladesh on Friday, was again the star of the match. She struck the first hat-trick for Nepal in an international tournament. Anu Lama also scored twice while Sajana Rana, Laxmi Poudel and Ranjana Darji added one goal each. The second straight win means Nepal have a great chance to qualify for the final.

Nepal dominated the match in such a way that neither goalkeeper Ashmita Khawas nor the defenders were troubled in the entire match. Coach Dhruba KC was delighted with the way his girls played today. "Both the teams we beat were tough," said KC adding that his players displayed an impressive game. "We have proved that we are good in both the striking and the defensive abilities," boosted the Nepali coach.

Anu Lama started the goal scoring spree in the 33rd minute and Sajana doubled the lead six minutes later. Anu ensured they go into the break with a 3-0 lead adding her second goal in the 40th minute. Jamuna then ran rampage scoring three goals in the 46th, 57th and 62nd minutes. Laxmi Poudel also joined the goal feast, netting the team's seventh goal before Rajana Darji completed the rout.

Despite the huge victory margin, Nepal took more than half an hour to take the lead. "It was, may be due to the inexperience of playing in a huge stadium," said coach KC adding that the climate might also be the reason for the sloppy start. Nepal and India are the only two teams unbeaten so far in the five-nation tournament.


DHAKA: Nepal kept their hopes of making it to the semi-finals in handball beating Afghanistan 33-23 on Tuesday. Amar Shrestha alone scored 15 goals while Dinesh Bista contributed five and Bishal Nepali four for Nepal. Nepal, who lost to Bangladesh 40-18 in their first Group B match on Monday, will qualify if favourites Bangladesh beat Afghanistan on Wednesday. It was the first international win for the Nepali team who last participated in an international tournament at the second SAF Championship here in 2000.


DHAKA: Shooters Ashmita Rai, Manita Rai and Ful Maya Kyapchhaki ended up fourth in the Women's Team 10m Air Rifle here at the National Shooting Complex on Tuesday. Ashmita scored 384 out of 400 points while Manita and Ful Maya earned 367 and 377 points respectively. Bangladesh claimed gold, India won silver and Pakistan took bronze. In the Women's Individual 10m Air Rifle, Ashmita finished seventh with 484 points out of 500 points. Sharmin Akhtar Ratna (499.9) and Syeda Sadia Sultana (498.3), both from Bangladesh, claimed gold and silver medals respectively. India's Mampi Das scored 496.9 points to settle for a bronze.


DHAKA: Nepal's hope of sneaking to a squash bronze medal received a serious blow when they lost the Men's Team event 3-0 against Sri Lanka here on Tuesday. The 16-time national champion Hira Bahadur Thapa lost to Naveen Samarasinghe 5-11, 5-11, 2-11 before Sudip Bahadur Singh went down 4-11, 2-11, 9-11 against Gisan Swarine. In the last match, Tak Kumar Tilija lost to Binura Jayasuriya 5-11, 3-11, 10-12. Hira Bahadur and Tak Kumar have already lost the singles matches. Nepal will take on Pakistan in the next match on Thursday.