Bangladesh registered their biggest margin of victory in women's football with a 17-0 thrashing of Pakistan in their first match of the SAFF Women's U-18 Championship fixture at the Changlimithang Stadium in Thimphu last night.
The massive victory, which is a record for Bangladesh football at any level – senior or age-group – catapulted them into the semifinals and put them ahead of Nepal on goal difference on top of Group B.
Nepal had beaten Pakistan 12-0 in the first match of the championship on Friday. Bangladesh will go into their group deciding match against Nepal tomorrow full of confidence and with a superior goal-margin.
Bangladesh had beaten Pakistan by 14-0 goals in the SAFF U-15 Women's Championship at the same venue just over a month ago. Hence a big-margin victory was expected from the girls in red and green, however, the number of goals and how easy those goals came might have even caught themselves by surprise.
Golam Rabbani Choton's charges threatened the opposition goal right from the word go and kept the ball firmly in and around the opposition's penalty box for the entirety of the match. The strategy was simple – get a long-ball in from the middle or manoeuvre it through the flanks as quickly as possible before finding a forward to put the finishing touches.
Striker Sirat Jahan Shopna was the most punishing of the lot as she bagged seven goals while winger Marzia Akter, who started the onslaught in the seventh minute, ended with four goals to her name. Defender Sheuly Azim scored twice from the spot while skipper Mishrat Jahan Mousumi, Akhi Khatun, Krishna Rani Sarkar and Tohura Khatun bagged a goal each.
Having opened the scoring in the seventh minute, the girls in red and green went into the break with an 8-0 lead. They had to wait 13 minutes for their first goal of the second half, but then it became a one-way traffic once again.
The commanding win will boost Bangladesh's morale going into the semifinals as they would want to erase the memory of the final defeat against India in the under-15 tournament here in August. 13 players of the under-15 squad are in the under-18 squad.