The Indian Women’s national team has defended their SAFF Women’s Championship title on Sunday. The Indian team defeated Nepal 3-1 at the CR&FC Grounds in Colombo.
India faced the toughest opponent so far in the competition and India coach Mohammad Shahid Jabbar had to cope with an early deficit, when Nepal took an early lead three minutes into the game.
Nepalese forward Anu Lama delivered a well-timed pass to Dipa Adhikari and the latter made no mistake to suprise the Indian team. Adhikari slotted home past India keeper Aditi Chauhan to give her team a 1-0 lead.
But the Indian team didn’t bury their heads in the sand and they levelled the scoreline just five minutes after the Nepalese goal. Midfielder Supriya Routray found the back of the net with a fine shot to the delight of the Indian bench.
The Nepalease defence didn’t look too solid and it seemed like it was just a matter of time that the Indian team would take the lead. But the Indian team failed to create too many clear scoring opportunities and both teams had to settle for a 1-1 draw at half-time.
Nepal had the better start in the second half and the Indian team had a few problems to handle the Nepalese pressure.
But India almost scored a sitter against the run of play in the 60th minute, when the Nepalese defence and keeper Namita Dali produced some blunder in the own box. But the Indian forward failed to convert the golden opportunity and missed the target by a whisker.
India finally found the back of the net in the 66th minute and turned the match into the own favour! Skipper Oinam Bembem Devi beat the Nepalese keeper with a wonderful freekick and put India in an excellent position to win the 2012 SAFF Women’s Championship.
Oinam Bembem Devi gave India the much needed confidence in the second half and the Indian team started to control the game. Yumnam Kamala Devi almost scored a third goal in the 70th minute, but Nepalese keeper Namita Dali saved the shot.
But Yumnam Kamala Devi finally found the target to seal India’s victory against Nepal in the 83rd minute.
India won the 2nd edition of the SAFF Women’s Championship and coincidentally defended their title to underline the supremacy in South Asia.
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2012 SAFF Women’s Championship
at CR&FC Grounds, Colombo, Sri Lanka
INDIA 3-1 NEPAL
0-1 Dipa Adhikari (3′)
1-1 Supriya Routray (8′)
2-1 Oinam Bembem Devi (66′)
3-1 Yumnam Kamala Devi (83′)
Aditi Chauhan; Ashem Romi Devi, Loitongbam Ashalata Devi, Kangujam Rebika Devi, Suprava Samal; Yumnam Kamala Devi, Oinam Bembem Devi [C], Supriya Routray, Tuli Goon; Sasmita Malik, Irom Prameshwori Devi
Namita Dali; Bhagwati Thapa, Usha Bhandari, Chandra Bhandari, Ghim Kumari Gurung; Niru Thapa, Sajana Rana (74′ Laxmi Poudel), Dipa Adhikari, Pramila Rai (63′ Krishna Khatri); Jamuna Gurung, Anu Lama
25′ Bhagwati Thapa (Nepal)
36′ Oinam Bembem Devi (India)
77′ Tuli Goon (India)