Nepal have registered a dominating win in the opening match of the SAFF Women's Championship that started in Kathmandu today. Hosts for the second successive edition, Nepal, defeated Bhutan 4-0 to register three points in Group B of the tournament.
At a rain-soaked Dasharath Stadium, the first half was equally contested. Bhutan had a fair share of the ball and Nepal had to work hard to get to the Bhutanese penalty area. But in the 12th minute of the match, Nepal went in front. Sabitra Bhandari found an open net to hit the ball into to give Nepal the lead. The prolific Gokulam Kerala striker delivered what the fans expected of her. The first half ended 1-0.
In the second half, Nepal were visibly dominant. And it was Samba who doubled Nepal's lead in the 63rd minute. A beautifully executed Rekha Poudel through ball was easily finished by Bhandari to put Nepal in a commanding position.
It was Anita Basnet's time to shine next. Anita's hit from outside the box after getting past two defenders gave no chance to the Bhutanese goalkeeper and Nepal went three goals up. Anita then rounded off a dominant second half display with her second in the 84th minute.
Anita was named the player of the match for a scintillating display in front of the home crowd.
With this win, Nepal have three points on board. Nepal will face Sri Lanka on September 12 in their second and final group match. Before that, Sri Lanka will be contesting against Bhutan on September 9.
Two group A encounters will take place tomorrow. India and Pakistan will face each other at 1 PM while Maldives and Sri Lanka will lock horns at 5:30 PM.
The top two teams of each group will qualify for the semifinals. The final of the tournament will be held on September 19.
NEPAL WOMEN'S VS KYRGYZ REPUBLIC 8-0 | MATCH HIGHLIGHTS