India retains SAFF soccer title
India, the reigning champions defeated Nepal by three goals to one in the final to retain the SAFF Holcim championship for another year at the CR & FC ground on Sunday. First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa was the chief guest. Both teams played good soccer upto the half way mark with Nepal scoring in quick time taking only three minutes. India found the equalizer five minutes later and the teams failed to add any further goals to their tally before half time. The scorers in the first half were Dipa Adikari for Nepal and Supriya Routry for India.
The second session began with India taking control of the game in an attacking mood and adding pressure on the Nepalese defence line. They were successful after 22 minutes when their skipper Bembem Devi found the net to put her side in font.
The Nepalese too went on the attack from there onwards but failed to achieve success as their forwards faltered with their kicks. Taking advantage of the situation Indian women added more pressure and managed to find the net for a third time with Kamala Devi making no mistake with a 30-yard free kick awarded to them for an infringement in the 83rd minute. This goal virtually sealed the game in favour of India.
Nepal’s skipper Jamuna Gurung who had a fine tournament scoring nine goals in five matches which included a hat-trick received the ‘Golden Boot’ award. India’s Kamala Devi was declared the Most Valuable Player of the Tournament.