The sixth edition of the SAFF Women's Championship is going to commence in Kathmandu today. Hosts Nepal will take on the Dragon Girls, the Bhutanese National Women's Team, to open the tournament happening in Kathmandu for the first time.
The match will kick off at 5:30 PM at the Dasharath Stadium. Minister of Youth and Sports of Nepal Maheshwar Gahatraj will officially inaugurate the tournament. Nepal are looking to write history with their first SAFF Women's Championship title, that too on home soil. The tournament's previous edition was also held in Nepal, at Sahid Maidan, Biratnagar, where Nepal succumbed to India in the final.
In the five previous editions, Nepal have finished as the runners-up four times and have bowed out of the semifinals once. Having come close to winning the title on four occasions, the Nepali side will look to create a triumphant history in the country's capital this time.
Confident Nepali coach:
Nepal coach Kumar Thapa expressed confidence in the squad he assembled at the press conference yesterday. "We have had seven weeks of training. In my opinion, we have a balanced team with experienced veterans and newcomers. They will work well together, and I can tell everyone that we will play our best football and try to keep the trophy home", said Thapa, who will start his second stint as the Nepal Women's National Team head coach today.
New skipper Anjila eyeing the title:
Speaking at the press conference ahead of the tournament at Soaltee Hotel in Kathmandu, Anjila said that the team is well-equipped to fight for the title and will go for it.
"I'm happy to be leading the nation. We're here to become champions and will do everything possible to win the title", said Subba, the newly appointed captain in the absence of regular captain Renuka Nagarkoti.
Nepal want to leave the past aside and go on a triumphant run. "We'll try to show our game on the field rather than sit here and talk," said Anjila making a statement and expressing the team's will to fight for regional supremacy. "I don't know what will happen in the future, but the team believes in our squad and we are here to win."
Nepal: Anjila Tumbapo Subba, Anjana Rana Magar, Usha Nath, Hira Kumari Bhujel, Amrita Jaishi, Gita Rana, Punam Jargha Magar, Nisha Thokar, Samikshya Ghimire, Bimala BK, Bimala Chaudhary, Manjali Kumari Yonjan, Preeti Rai, Saru Limbu, Dipa Rai, Dipa Shahi, Indira Rai, Anita Basnet, Anita KC, Amisha Karki, Rekha Poudel, Sabitra Bhandari, Rashmi Kumari Ghising.
Bhutan: Karma Zangmo, Kinley Zangmo, Kinzang Dema, Karma Wangmo, Norbu Zangmo, Pema C. Tshering, Sonam Choden, Namgyel Dema, Sangita Monger, Sonam Choden, Sonam Yangchen, Suk Maya Ghalley, Sunita Rai, Tshering Lhaden, Tshering Yangden, Ugyen Choden, Yeshey Bidha, Deki Yangdon, Deki Lhazom, Galey Wangmo, Dorji Edon, Kelden Lhamo, Jamyang Choden.
Head to head:
Nepal and Bhutan have faced each other a total of three times in the previous five editions of the tournament. In the encounters in the third, fourth and fifth editions, Nepal have come out victorious in all three occasions.
Ticketing & Broadcasting:
Tickets for the match and the entirety of the SAFF Women's Championship can be bought from Paywell. AP1 Television will broadcast the tournament live.
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