Nepal’s Sabitra Bhandari Secures 2-2 Draw Against India Women’s Team in Friendly Match with Late Double
In a friendly match between Nepal and India, the two teams played out an exciting 2-2 draw at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Wednesday. Nepal’s Sabitra Bhandari scored a late double to secure a hard-fought draw for her team.
The game started slowly, with both sides taking time to settle in. The first real chance of the match came in the 10th minute when Nepali forward Bhandari’s long-range shot was parried away by Indian goalkeeper Aditi Chauhan. Unfortunately, Chauhan injured herself in the process and was replaced with Elangbam Panthoi Chanu.
The game remained goalless until the 56th minute when Manisha Kalyan set up Soumya Guguloth to give India the lead. Captain Indumathi Kathiresan then doubled the lead with a confident finish inside the box.
Nepal’s Bhandari sparked a comeback in the last minute of regulation time with a goal from the spot after Indian defender Sweety Devi handled the ball inside the box. She then completed her double in injury time with a rasping run through the middle and a calm finish.
India had a chance to take the lead in the first half when Bala Devi rounded Nepal goalkeeper Anjila Subba, but she was stopped by defender Gita Rana.
Overall, the match was an exciting and evenly contested encounter, with both teams showcasing their skills and fighting spirit.
Nepal and India women’s teams will face each other in a second friendly match on February 18th. The matches are part of their preparation for the upcoming Olympics 2024. Both teams will begin their qualification campaign for the Olympics in April.