Last-gasp B’desh salvage draw

Akhi Khatun

Bangladesh’s goalscorer Akhi Khatun speaks to reporters at the end of their 2020 Women Olympic Qualifiers Round-1 match against Nepal in Yangon, Myanmar on Tuesday.— BFF photo

Bangladesh women’s national football team ended their 2020 Women Olympic Qualifiers Round-1 campaign with face-saving 1-1 draw against Nepal in their final Group C match in Yangon, Myanmar on Tuesday.
This was also for the first time that Bangladesh had managed to hold Nepal to a draw after having lost all their previous encounters.
With their chance of qualifying for the second round gone after two successive defeats against hosts Myanmar (0-5) and India (1-7) in the first two matches, the girls in red and green were desperate for an improved show against Nepal.
Niru Thapa gave Nepal the lead in the 17th minute and when another defeat looked inevitable, Akhi Khatun headed home from a corner in the 92nd minute to earn the all-important equaliser for her country.
Bangladesh coach Golam Rabbani Choton was full of praise of his charges as they could apply his plans on the field against Nepal.
‘We recovered physically and emotionally very well after the India game. We prepared well for the Nepal game and our plans worked very well,’ Choton was quoted as saying by a Bangladesh Football Federation press release on Tuesday.
‘I’m extremely pleased that Akhi scored from the corner as we spend a lot of time on set pieces during training.’
Akhi was also happy that her goal helped them to finish the campaign avoiding another defeat.
The team is expected to return to Dhaka this afternoon.