Hosts Bangladesh finished Group B champions of the Bangamata Under-19 Women’s International Gold Cup when they beat Kyrgyzstan 2-1 in their final group match at the Bangabandhu National Stadium on Friday.
Midfielder Shanjida Akhter and Forward Krishna Rani Sarkar scored one goal each for the hosts while Kyrgyzstan substitute defender Akhmatkulova Zairina pulled one goal back.
Both Bangladesh and Kyrgyzstan had booked their place in the semi-finals before this match with win over their respective matches against United Arab Emirates, the other team of the group.
Shanjida gave host the lead in the very first minute of the match with a tap-in after Krishna a pass from from left-side of the box.
Krishna missed a chance to double the margin in a one-on-one situation as her right-footed attempt missed the target after a cross by Shanjida from right side in the 13th minute.
Substitute midfielder Marzia, who replaced forward Sirat Jahan Shopna in the 25th minute, was unlucky as her shot from inside the box rebounded from the crosspiece after a cross by Shamsunnahar [senior] in the 36th minute.
Marzia missed another chance in the 45th minute when her chip went over the bar after deceiving two opponent defenders.
Krishna made it 2-0 in the 59th minute with a header after a cross from the left side of the box by Shanjida.
Akhmatkulova Zairina, who replaced forward Ibrahimova Shakhnoza in the 56th minute, pulled one goal back for Kyrgyzstan in the 69th minute.
Zairina received a pass from midfield and her right-footed drive slipped through the hands of Bangladesh goalkeeper Rupna Chakma into the back of the net.
Despite a narrow win, Bangladesh coach Golam Rabbani Choton was satisfied with his team’s gritty performance.
‘Our plan was to secure full three points as well as fight through the full 90 minutes. The girls did it accordingly to have struck two goals but the goal we conceded was the mistake of goalkeeper. I want to give all credit to the girls,’ said Choton.
Bangladesh’s Sanjida Akhter was also delighted to be adjudged as the most valuable player after scoring one and assisting one in the match.
‘I feel really happy after being adjudged the best player. But our target was to win the match and we did it,’ said Sanjida.
Bangladesh will now take on Group A runners-up in the second semi-final on April 30 while Kyrgyzstan will face Group A champions on May 29.
The Group-A champions and runners-up teams will be confirmed after today’s Group A match between Laos and Tajikistan, which will take place at the same venue at 8:30pm.
Bangladesh started their campaign with a 2-0 win against United Arab Emirates.
-With New Age input