Bangladesh won a memorable match today at Dasarath Stadium in Kathmandu. Bangladesh thrashed five-time champions India 3-0 in the final group stage match of the sixth Women’s SAFF Championship.
After such a victory, Bangladesh coach Golam Rabbani praised Sabina Khatun. He didn’t just stop by praising, he saluted the girls. At the press conference after the match, Golam Rabbani said, ‘I want to salute my girls. They worked hard. Today they have made history.
Bangladesh is making progress in women’s football. Change is coming to women’s football. Golam Rabbani did not forget to say the word. In a question, he said, ‘I had confidence in girls. They played well against Maldives and Pakistan. Scored 5 goals in both matches. So there was a belief that we can beat India too. Today the girls showed it on the field. They were all committed to winning.
For so long, India was a threat to Bangladesh in the fight between the two national teams. How did Bangladesh overcome that fear today? Golam Rabbani said to such a question, ‘Girls are working hard. They have been living in Bauffe Bhavan for many years without staying with their families. Before leaving Dhaka, I said that this team will give a glimpse of change. They gave it. I have no end of gratitude to the girls.
The girls told the coach before the match that they will play for the country, for their parents. They played it. Indian girls tried everything, but failed. Gholam Rabbani said, “After the matches with Maldives and Pakistan, many people asked to rest some people. But I didn’t do that. I thought the girls would learn from this match. They are growing now.’
When asked whether this match is the beginning of a turning point in women’s football in Bangladesh, the Bangladesh coach said, ‘We had nothing to lose. My plan was to play in the same rhythm in the big matches. That’s how the girls played.
India have won 9 of the previous 10 meetings against Bangladesh. India took Bangladesh lightly today? The Indian coach dismissed the question and said, ‘Not at all. Bangladesh played a very good match. They were in full rhythm. In fact, it was our party’s mistake, I take responsibility for it. This is a lesson for us, if we make a mistake, anyone will lose us. There are many things that we have to work on.
Both Bangladesh-India teams have already reached the semi-finals. Today’s victory made Bangladesh the group-best, India the runner-up. In the semi-finals on September 16, Bangladesh will meet relatively easy opponent Bhutan. India will play hosts Nepal. Final on September 19.