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India beats Bangladesh 1-0 in women's U-18 SAFF football C'ships

 India continued its winning run with a 1-0 win over Bangladesh in its second match of SAFF U-18 Women’s Championship here on Saturday.

Nitu Linda scored the all-important goal in the 63rd minute.

Following the result, India is firmly seated at the top of the table, having collected six points from two matches.

Coach Thomas Dennerby made only one change in the starting line-up from the last game, having brought in Kajal in place of Naketa.

The game began at a slow pace but the host came close to opening the scoring in the ninth minute when Astam played a low ball into the six-yard box, hoping for Lynda Kom to fill in the spaces, but it was eventually cleared.

In the 21st minute, the second chance for India came when Anita Kumari tried a low shot that went wide. A couple of minutes later, Bangladesh served a reminder of their abilities as Eity Khatun’s first time shot near the goal-line was blocked by Ritu Devi.

At the half-hour mark, Anita had another go at the goal from the left which was gathered by the Bangladesh custodian Rupna. In the 39th minute, Priyanka Sujeesh launched another effort on Bangladesh goal to break the deadlock but Rupna was equal to the task.

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After the breather, the host changed its strategy and tried to build attacks from both flanks. Coach Dennerby introduced Nitu and Shubhangi in place of Martina and Sujeesh.

Back to back efforts went in vain when Amisha’s 49th shot was denied by the keeper and then Rupna saved the other one when Lynda Kom tried to turn in the rebound.

In the 51st minute, Sapna Rani curled in a dangerous corner into the Indian box but goalie Melody made no mistake to punch it away. Another chance came India’s way when Astam sent in a cross from the left which Shilky received and went for a back volley, but missed the target.

Another substitution took place in the 61st minute as Sunita Munda was replaced by Anita Kumari.

India finally broke the deadlock in the 63rd minute through Nitu Linda, who tapped into an open net following a Ritu Devi pass from the right-wing which was spilled by Bangladesh goalkeeper Rupna.

The game slowed down considerably during the final minutes of the game, but India continued to show its dominance.

India will play Nepal in its next match on Monday.

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