Nepal trash Bangla, enters SAFF Women's final



KATHMANDU, Dec 22: Nepal set up a title clash with archrival India in the First SAFF Women´s Football Championship on Tuesday. Nepal thrashed hosts Bangladesh 3-0 in the second semifinal played in Cox´s Bazar, Bangladesh.

As on a previous occasion, skipper Jamuna Gurung and Anu Lama shared all three goals in their account. Gurung struck twice and Lama added the third in Nepal´s glorious victory.

The final against India will be played on Thursday at the same venue. If Nepal win the final it will be its greatest achievement in international football after 1993. On that occasion, the Nepali men´s team had lifted the SAF Games title defeating India 4-3 in a tiebreaker following a 2-2 draw in regular time.

On Tuesday, Skipper Gurung gave a 17th minute lead to the visitors through a header in a cross from Lama amidst the crowd of home supporters. Lama doubled the tally in the 72nd minute and it was skipper Gurung who set the pass for her. Nepal sealed the match four minutes later when Gurung brilliantly netted her second individual goal in a solo effort.

Gurung dribbled around an opponent and beat the goalie to send the ball past the net.

In their previous encounter during the 11th South Asian Games (SAG) earlier this year, Nepal had defeated Bangladesh 1-0 at Dhaka.

"We were under pressure today as we were playing against the home team. During our last encounter also we had a narrow margin win," Nepali skipper Gurung said adding, "However, we were determined to beat the home team and we played in a coordinated fashion to achieve success."

With the goal, Lama took her goal tally to 11 while skipper Gurung made it 10. Earlier, Lama had completed three hat-tricks in a row in all three matches of the group stage. She had scored three each against Maldives and Pakistan and four goals in Nepal´s 13-0 demolition of Afghanistan.

Skipper Gurung had scored four against the Afghans, and two each in all matches played so far in this event. In the group stage, Nepal had defeated Maldives 6-0 and blanked Pakistan 12-0.

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