Sports, Football

Yearjan dedicates trophy to father, coach

Published : 11 Mar 2024 09:22 PM

Bangladesh U-16 Women’s National Team goalkeeper Yearjan Begum helped her side end their seven-year title drought by winning the SAFF U-16 Women’s Championship 2024 at the ANFA Complex in Lalitpur, Nepal, on Sunday.

The Bangladesh girls beat their counterpart India by 3-2 goals in a nail-biting tiebreaker, courtesy of Yearjan Begum, after the day's final match was locked at a 1-1 draw in the stipulated 90 minutes. 

Yearjan, who conceded only two goals in four matches throughout the tournament, successfully denied three Indian booters, Alena Devi Sarangthem, Bonifilia Shullai, and Divyani Linda, during the tie-breaker.

On the other hand, her teammates Mariam Binta Hanna, Thuinuye Marma, and Shati Munda finished the rest of the job, converting their respective spot kicks aptly.

“It was my first international tournament, and I became the best goalkeeper. I am so happy and feel very proud. I dedicate my trophy to my father and coach,” said Yearjan.

Bangladesh maintained a 100% record to reach the final after beating Nepal, India, and Bhutan by 2-0, 3-1, and 6-0 goals, respectively, in the single-leg round-robin league stage.

Their star player, Sauravi Akanda Prity, was adjudged the most venerable player of the tournament as she scored five goals and led her side to the final.

“The most important thing was to become a champion; I'm not worried about my personal achievement. Yearjan gave her best in the final; her performance motivated us a lot,” said Sauravi.

Bangladesh head coach Saiful Bari Titu also gave all the credit to the footballers, coaches, Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) president, and BFF women's wing chairman.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh clinched their first title of this age-level regional competition, beating India by a 1-0 goal in the maiden edition held in 2017.

Since then, the girls have been failing to bag the title and finishing runners-up in the next four editions in 2018, 2019, 2022, and 2023.

They lost to India by 1-0 and 5(0)-3(0) goals in the finals of 2018 and 2019, while Nepal and Russia clinched the title, respectively, in 2022 and 2023, by virtue of the points.