‘Sabina showed true leadership under pressure’
Golam Rabbani Choton, Bangladesh women's football team head coach, praised captain Sabina Khatun highly for her on-ground leadership that helped the women in red and green to hold their nerves despite falling into a difficult situation in the last quarter of the SAFF Women's Championship final in Kathmandu tonight.
"When Nepal pulled one goal back, it was really tough to re-organise the team and send the messages to the players due to the overwhelming noise from a partisan crowd. However, Sabina showed her true leadership under pressure and guided the players to a victory," Choton said at the post-match conference.
Sabina, the highest scorer with eight goals and the most valuable player of the tournament, performed significantly from the onset of the final as the 28-year-old forward adopted a deeper role, instead of her usual forward position, to spoil the Nepal attacks and build up the game from behind as well.
Sabina acknowledged India and Nepal as the forces of South Asia.
"We always respect India and Nepal as they are the forces of South Asia," Sabina said. "However, we have a target to prove a point that Bangladesh women's football team have been improving and we did it in this championship."
Choton believed the early goal and initial control in the match were the turning points for the women in red and green to win the final match.
"The girls progressed match by match and showed their capacity. Bangladesh are now number one team in South Asia," said Choton while adding that the girls overcame all adversities in the finals to achieve their goal successfully.