Nepali players celebrate after scoring a goal against Bhutan during the Fourth Women’s SAFF Championship in Siliguri of India, on Monday, December 26, 2016. Photo: ANFA
KATHMANDU: Nepal failed to advance to the final of the SAFF Women’s Championship being held in Siliguri of India as the hosts defeated them 3-1 in the semifinal match played on Monday.
Emerging Nepali sensation Sabitra Bhandari’s goal in the 75th minute was not sufficient for Nepal to defeat the archrivals.
The defending champions India had taken the lead in the match with a goal of Kamala Devi in the 44th minute. They doubled the margin in the 58th minute with Indumati’s score.
Nepal tried to come back in the game and improved the goal difference to 2-1 in the 75th minute, but India’s Sashmita Mallik’s goal in the 83rd minute shattered dreams of the Nepali eves.
India, consequently, were 3-1 up when the final whistle blew.
Nepal had reached the semifinal by winning over Bhutan, the Maldives and Sri Lanka without conceding a goal. The scores were 8-0, 9-0 and 1-0 respectively.
While India won all three previous editions of the regional tournament, Nepal were the runners-up every time (2010, 2012, 2014).