India beats Bangladesh to win SAFF U-15 Championship

India U-15 girls won the SAFF U-15 Championship after beating defending champion Bangladesh 1-0 in the final.

India U-15 girls beat the defending champion Bangladesh in the final.   -  AIFF

India U-15 girls won the SAFF U-15 Championship after beating defending champion Bangladesh 1-0 in the final played at the Changlimithang Stadium here on Saturday.

It was Sunita Munda’s strike in the 67th minute that pulled off a hard-fought victory for the Indian girls.

India played attacking football right from the start, with Avika Singh’s free-kick rattling the bar and Shilky Devi’s header off the rebound going inches wide.

Three minutes later, Sunita Munda had a burst into Bangladesh's box with only the goalkeeper to beat, but she failed to finish.

The Indian girls dominated possession and kept creating chances. But it was Kritina Devi’s speed down the flanks that proved to be a constant threat for the opposition defence. The opposition custodian did well and saved her shot in the 27th minute as India pressed for that inevitable goal.

However, much against the run of play, the Indian defence fumbled in the 43rd minute when defender Ritu failed to clear her ball, allowing Bangladesh a clear shot at goal. But striker Anuching Mogini failed to find the net from close range as both teams headed to the interval locked goalless.

In the second half, it was more or less the replay of the first with the Indian girls dominating possession and finally getting rewarded in the 67th minute.

In the 66th minute, Avika Singh found Sunita Munda in the box but the rival defence managed to clear it for a corner. Form the resultant corner, Sunita found the back of the net after she connected from Lynda Kom’s cross.

With not much time left on the clock, Bangladesh went all out in the attack. In the 76th minute, Bangladesh hit the bar. The Indian defence and its goalkeeper made agile saves in the dying minutes.

The Indian U-15 Women scored sixteen goals in four matches including the final and semifinal and conceded just one all throughout the tournament.

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