Nepal advance to semis

nepal vs pakistan

Nepal advanced to semi-finals of the Third SAFF Women’s Championship defeating Pakistan 2-0 at the Jinnah Stadium in Islamabad on Friday.

Nepal needed first half goals from Anu Lama and Sajana Rana to confirm their berth in the last four of the championship with six points. Sri Lanka also moved through following their 3-0 win over Bhutan in the first match of Group B today. Sunday’s match between the two teams will decide who will go through as the winner of the group.

Nepal came into the match on the back of an impressive 8-0 win over Bhutan. And going by Nepal’s performance in the first 23 minutes against Pakistan today and if Nepal’s previous records over Pakistan was anything to go by, it would have been another one-sided win for Nepal, who had scored twice inside 23 minutes through Anu Lama in 13th minute and Sajan Rana in the 23rd minute.  

Previously, Nepal had routed Pakistan 12-0 in 2010 and 8-0 in 2012, but Pakistan appeared a different side after conceding the two goals, screwing up their defense and restricting Nepal to just two goals. Sajana Rana could have it 3-0 later in the second half in the 77nd minute through a penalty but was denied by the keeper. She had scored the first goal also through a penalty awarded for a foul on Renuka Nagarkoti in the 22nd minute.

Commenting on the match, coach Kumar Katwal said he was not satisfied with the team formation he had created. He also rued the missed opportunities of the team.

Likewise, Nepal captain Anu Lama said the match turned out to very competitive than she had imagined. Like her coach, she also rued the missed chances.

On the other hand, Pakistan coach said it was the best performance Pakistan had put up in a decade. He complimented the Nepal team, saying they are a very strong side.