National Team - Lionesses ● Dec 02, 2023
Bangladesh Puts 2017 Defeat to Rest with 3-0 Win Over Lionesses
Sitianiwati Rosielin and Bangladesh captain Sabina Khatun on the ball, December 2023.
DHAKA, 1 DECEMBER 2023 – In the pre-match conference the previous day, Bangladesh captain Sabina Khatun had expressed strong optimism about winning against Singapore at home. She and her team promptly turned those words into action, securing a convincing 3-0 victory and putting to rest the haunting 2017 defeat with the same scoreline.
Right from the opening whistle, the Bengal Tigresses launched into a goal-hunting frenzy, showcasing an intensely aggressive approach. In merely three minutes, Sabina whipped in a free kick into the box where defender Afaida Khatun leapt highest to win the header which struck the underside of the crossbar, before crossing the line, securing Bangladesh a 1-0 lead.
15-year-old Cara Chang (right, blue jersey) achieved her first senior cap, December 2023.
Undeterred, the Lionesses sought to adapt to their energetic opponents. Forwards Raudhah Kamis, Farah Nurzahirah, and first-capper midfielder Cara Chang created multiple goal opportunities, but Bangladeshi goalkeeper Rupna Chakma proved to be up to the task, preventing any ball from passing through the goal.
Just twelve minutes later, the Lionesses faced another setback as Bangladesh doubled their lead in the 16th minute. Midfielder Maria Manda embarked on a mazy dribble, eluding three players, before providing a precise pass to forward Tahura Khatun. The striker did not waste the opportunity as she slotted the ball home deftly past Singapore custodian Beatrice Tan.
Bangladesh’s Tohura Khatun and Rosnani Azman on the ball, December 2023.
The Lionesses began to fall back into a defensive stance as their opponents relentlessly launched an onslaught of attacks. Two corner opportunities taken by Bangladesh in the 27th and 28th minute were thwarted by midfielder Mastura Jeilani and Singapore captain Rosnani Azman, who has now reached her 40th cap.
Nevertheless, despite managing to create some substantial goal chances, luck was not on the side of the Bangladeshis, especially in the 42nd minute when Sabina’s powerful long shot went just wide off the post as the score remained 2-0 at halftime.
Raeka Ee earned her first international cap, December 2023.
Fueled by either adrenaline or the desire to settle the score or possibly both, but the Bangladesh team displayed an even more aggressive stance on the pitch in the second half. Coach Karim Bencherifa maintained the lineup with one change – Raudhah was replaced by Mattar Sailors’ forward Raeka Ee, who earned her first cap. The Lionesses endeavored to regain possession on their side, but it proved futile as the Bangladeshis extinguished each attempt, roared on by their home fans who were clearly enjoying the occasion.
The Bengal Tigresses inevitably struck again – star player Tohura Khatun received a long ball from defender Masura Parvin and skillfully lobbed the ball over Beatrice in the 59th minute, extending the lead to 3-0.
Beatrice notably made a double save in the 74th minute, December 2023.
The hunger for more goals, especially for Tohura’s hat-trick hopes, was palpable as the Bangladeshis pressed high up the pitch. A raft of substitutions were made to infuse fresh energy into the lineup, primarily introducing players earning their first cap – Josephine Ang, Qarissa Putri, Dini Dannisha, in the 66th, 73rd and 87th minutes, respectively.
Singapore’s best player of the night was Beatrice who stepped up to the challenge of being the team’s first choice keeper. Undeniably put to work, she stood resilient between the goalposts, bravely facing an onslaught of relentless attacks from the opposition. In a crucial moment during the 74th minute, Beatrice showcased her goalkeeping prowess with a notable double save, denying both Tohura and Maria preventing what would have been another goal for the Bengal Tigresses.
Raudhah Kamis and Bangladesh’s Maria Manda on the ball, December 2023.
In the post-match conference, Coach Karim acknowledged the challenge posed by a well-prepared Bangladesh team: “We acknowledge that Bangladesh is a formidable team and well-prepared. Witnessing their performance in the Asian Games and knowing their status as SAFF champions emphasizes the challenge we faced.”
However, he insisted that this is part of the bigger plan – to gain experience and build a strong team for future matches, especially SEA Games in 2025: “Considering the age of our players, particularly the starters like 15-year-old Cara, our primary goal is to build experience, especially for the younger players. It’s a learning process, particularly facing a well-prepared team in a good atmosphere with a great crowd. From today’s experience we will learn and put up a stronger fight in the second game.
“Conceding early is never easy and it’s a big setback to us. But what matters most to me is the learning we extract from this match and how we progress. Defeat is part of the process, and our focus is on future tournaments, notably the SEA Games 2025 – a vision we are dedicated to.”
The Lionesses are set to face the Bengal Tigresses once again on Monday, 4 December 2023 at 5pm Singapore Time at Bir Shrestha Shaheed Shipahi Mustofa Kamal Stadium, presenting a final opportunity for redemption.
Singapore: Beatrice Tan, Syazwani Ruzi, Nurerwadah Erwan (Qarissa Putri 73’), Cara Chang (Josephine Ang 66’), Sitianiwati Rosielin (Dini Dannisha 87’), Farah Nurzahirah (Sarah Zu’risqha 66’), Mastura Jeilani, Raudhah Kamis (Raeka Ee 46’), Khairunnisa Anwar, Dhaniyah Qasimah, Rosnani Azman
Unused subs: Izairida Shakira (GK), Erlinawaty Jaffar (GK), Mira Ruzana, Danelle Tan
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