KATHMANDU: India has collapsed SAFF Women’s Championship following a 0-1 defeat at the hands of hosts Nepal in the semi-finals at Dasharath Stadium here on Friday.
This is the first time that the Indian football team has been knocked out in the semi-finals of the tournament.
Rashmi Kumari Ghishing scored the game’s only goal as the hosts secured a win on a muddy pitch.
The home side started on the front foot, using the left flank on a number of attacks in the opening rallies. However, Indian defenders Darling Devi and Manisa Panna remained alert to danger and foiled attacks from the hosts.
Renu had India’s first real chance of the game in the 12th minute, when she rushed into the opposing box, but Nepal captain and goalkeeper Anjila Subba came off her line to clear her.

As the game approached the half hour mark, Sandhiya Ranganathan became more active on the right wing. She orchestrated an attack on the 22nd, passing it to Ratanbala Devi, who squared it to Priyangka Deviwho was eventually dispossessed inside the box.
Later, Sandhiya again sent a cross for Renu, who tried to wrap it in the far post, but his effort was saved. This turned out to be Renu’s last significant contribution, as India’s head coach. Suren Chettri soon took it off, bringing Soumya Guguloth on the pitch with a few minutes before the half-time whistle.
However, it was Nepal who took the lead in added time of the first half, when Preeti Rai sent a cross into the feet of Rashmi Ghishing, and the latter turned and fired into the corner inferior.
A goal later, Nepal came off with great enthusiasm in the second half, as Anita Basnet and Rashmi Ghishing began to orchestrate attacks for the home side, prompting Suren Chettri to make an attacking change, calling on striker Apurna Narzary in place of midfielder Priyangka Devi.
Apurna quickly got into the thick of things as she looked to pass passes to Dangmei Grace and Soumya Guguloth. However, the Nepalese defense was up to snuff.
With their sights set on a semi-final exit, India launched desperate attacks that earned them a few free-kicks in the opposing half, with around 20 minutes of regulation time remaining.
Ashalata Devi took charge of the set pieces, looking to pass them on to her teammates, but the Nepalese defense held firm.
Soumya was given one last chance for India with minutes remaining on the clock as she was played behind the defense by Apurna. The former rushed into the box but the ball was swept away by a rushing defender, before she could shoot.



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