India wins fifth successive SAFF Women's Championship

Dalima Chhibber, Dangmei Grace and Anju Tamang scored for India in a 3-1 win in the final against host Nepal on Friday.

Indian women's football team celebrates with the SAFF Women's Championship trophy.   -  AIFF Twitter

The Indian women's team has successfully defended its SAFF Women's Championship title for the fifth time in a row with a 3-1 win over Nepal on Friday at the Sahid Rangashala Stadium in Biratnagar, Nepal.

Dalima Chhibber opened the scoring for India in the first half, with Dangmei Grace and Anju Tamang finding the net in the second half after Sabitra Bhandari got the equaliser for Nepal in the first half. The win extends India's unbeaten run in the tournament's history to 23 games.

The host nation started on the front foot, seeing most of the ball in the opening minutes much to the delight of the packed stands. Nepal almost took the lead in the 10th minute when it put the ball in the back of the net but the goal was flagged offside.

The opening goal came against the run of play in the 26th minute. Dangmei Grace won a free-kick after she was fouled about 40 yards from the goal. Dalima took the set piece and opened the scoring with a thumping strike that sailed into the left top corner.

Indian football team celebrates its win over Nepal in the SAFF Women's Championship final.   -  AIFF Twitter


Nepal found the equaliser in the 33rd minute when Sabitra Bhandari capitalised on a long ball and headed it from close range past Aditi Chauhan. It was the first goal India conceded in the tournament.

Aditi pulled off a good save from a one-on-one with Sabitra to make sure the teams were on level terms at the break.

India started the second half on a strong note, employing a high-press game and not giving the Nepal players time on the ball.

India regained the lead in the 63rd minute through Grace. Sanju released Grace with a through ball and the 23-year-old turned the Nepal keeper, skipped away and slotted the ball home.

Indumathi Kathiresan headed the ball into the path of substitute Anju Tamang in the 78th minute, who held off a weak challenge to score India's third goal and seal the win.

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