“Rupna is considered one of the best goalkeepers in South Asia while Shamsunnar is the best striker in South Asia at this level,” Choton said
Head coach Golam Rabbani Choton believes goalkeeper Rupna Chakma and forward Shamsunnar Jr were the main architects of the SAFF U-20 Women’s Championship triumph.
Rupna and Shamsunnar Jr were the only two senior players in Bangladesh’s squad and played significant roles in every match, using the experience they gained from past failures in age-group tournaments to excel.
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Rupna, who conceded only one goal in four matches, was adjudged the best goalkeeper while Shamsunnar was named the most valuable player and top-scorer with five goals.
“Compared to other competitions in which we could not cross the final hurdle, the difference was Rupna and Shamsunnahar Jr. Rupna is considered one of the best goalkeepers in South Asia while Shamsunnar is the best striker in South Asia at this level. So it was a good advantage to have such players in the squad,” Choton told The Daily Star after the match at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur today.
The successful coach also hailed the rest of the girls for their understanding and combination.
“The team combination has been really nice since this group has been together since 2015. The understanding among them is also very good because most of the players played together for Ataur Rahman Bhuiyan College SC in the last two editions of the Bangladesh Women’s Football League,” Choton said, adding that his charges were physically fitter than any other team.
“All the girls have been working hard round the year in line with a designed training plan. The BFF provides every support and they have been disciplined, which is another reason,” Choton said. “The fitness of our girls was very good and they always follow the game plan and in this context, we are ahead of other teams.”
He also added: “The first half of the final was competitive but Nepal gradually faded in the game in the second half but our girls played at the same pace throughout the 90 minutes.”