Expectations for SAFF Women’s Championship

21 Sep 2022 | 08:21 | Football

The Bangladesh women’s soccer team often makes headlines when it comes to age group international tournaments, but the success of the senior women’s team isn’t as remarkable. With that in mind, the senior women’s team has set its sights on confirming a semi-final spot at the 6th SAFF Women’s Football Championship, which will kick off September 6 in Kathmandu.

The women’s age group teams may have won regional tournaments and become age group champions in the AFC Cup, but the senior team has reached the final of the SAFF Women’s Football Championship only once in a year. organized five times. Instead, India has won 5 times and Nepal 4 times runner-up has dominated with more experienced teams.

During the final edition of the SAFF Women’s Football Championship 2019, BFF technical director Paul Smalley commented that it seemed to be ‘women vs women’ as Bangladesh played against other teams. Bangladesh started that campaign by beating Bhutan 2-0 but lost to Nepal in the second before losing 4-0 to India in the semi-finals.

Three years later, the same group of girls, who have been together for more than seven years, will compete against India, Maldives and Pakistan in their group.

When asked what has been accomplished over the years, head coach Golam Rabbabi Choton said: “There is still an age difference. Players like Maria, Monica and many others on our team are doing well. not playing in the Under-18s.” too long. But I think they have gathered a lot of international experience, they have matured and improved physically. Beating Malaysia, which is ahead of us in the FIFA Rankings and in terms of fitness, in a friendly match is proof of that improvement. “

Bangladesh have never beaten India or Nepal in the SAFF Women’s Championship, just putting them at a standstill, but the women will most likely need to overcome one of those hurdles to make it to the match for the first time. finals since the first appearance in the first final. in 2016.

“We have been training hard for the past six weeks. During training we have worked to correct the mistakes we made against Malaysia in two friendlies in June. They are ready for the tournament. “, said Choton, who will have the freedom to guide the team. single-handedly led by BFF Smalley technical director accompanying the Bangladesh U-17 team during the SAFF Under-17 Championship in Sri Lanka.

The success coach added: “We are currently thinking about the first game against the Maldives because it is important to start the tournament with a win. We want to progress game by game and confirm a spot. get to the semi-finals first. Then we’ll think about the semi-finals.”

Captain Sabina Khatun added: “It’s a big tournament for us and we hope and are confident to produce better results than the previous one.”

The whole team will leave for Nepal on September 6.