March 25 – India retained their SAFF women’s crown by defeating Nepal 3-1 in the final to win the tournament for a fifth consecutive time.
The Indians stamped their authority on the biennial, regional championship organised by the South Asian Football Federation with a routine win over their neighbours in the final.
The hosts could not make home advantage count as India scored through Dalima Chhibber, Grace Dangmei and substitute Anju Tamang. Nepal had been drafted in as a last-minute host after Sri Lanka had withdrawn from staging the tournament.
India and Nepal had both reached the final unbeaten and with clean sheets. The Nepalese topped group A defeating both Bhutan and Bangladesh 3-0. India thumped the Maldives 6-0 and Sri Lanka 5-0 to top Group B on six points.
In the semi-finals the hosts cruised past Sri Lanka 4-0 and India dispatched Bangladesh with the same result.
In the title match Sabitra Bhandari pulled one back for Nepal just after the half-hour mark to equalize, but India’s strength and class showed after the interval as they ran out 3-1 winners.
It was a 5th SAFF crown for India, who extend their unbeaten streak in the tournament to 23 matches.
Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1566810362labto1566810362ofdlr1566810362owedi1566810362sni@o1566810362fni1566810362