New Delhi: The Indian women’s team defended their SAFF Football Championship title when they defeated Nepal 3-1 in the final at the Ceylon Rugby and Football Club in Colombo on Sunday. Two years ago, India had beaten the same rivals in the inaugural championship at Dhaka.
Led by attacking midfielder Oinam Bembem Devi, India put up a compact show to get the better of the rivals despite being down by a third minute goal scored by Dipa Adhikari.
Stung by the reverse, India hit back to restore parity within five minutes through Supriya Routray.
In the second session, Bembem put India in the lead off a free kick in the 64th minute while Kamala Devi completed the rout three minutes from time.
“This time, we were far better prepared than what we were in 2010,” Bembem Devi told The Telegraph immediately after the prize distribution ceremony. “The one-and-a-half month camp in Calcutta under Shaheed Jabbar benefited us greatly… We could have won by a bigger margin in the final but missed a few chances,” said the Manipur girl.