Bhandari-inspired Sethu win Indian Women’s League title

- Sports Bureau, Kathmandu

May 23, 2019-

Nepali national team forward Sabitra Bhandari continued with her scintillating form scoring twice to hand Sethu FC 3-1 win over Manipur Police SC in the Indian Women’s League final on Wednesday.

Bhandari, who ended the tournament with 15 goals, netted both goals in the second half to secure the maiden title for Sethu. The tournament is in its third year. She was adjudged player-of-the-final. Held at the Guru Nanak Stadium in Ludhiana, Radharani Devi put Manipur Police ahead in the 44th. Sethu drew level in the 56th as Indumathi Kathiresan’s strike entered net after taking a deflection off Manipur defender Umapati Devi.

Bhandari made it 2-1 for Sethu in the 61st and ensured the victory for Tamil Nadu-based outfits scoring the second in the 70th minute. The 23-year old Nepali girl made huge impact in all seven matches she played, scored in six of them. Bhandari and her national team partner Anita Basnet had joined Sethu for the three-week tournament. Winger Basnet, however, was limited to the bench in all but one match as the tournament regulation allowed just one foreign recruit in the playing XI. It was the first occasion that Nepali women footballers were recruited by the Indian team.

Bhandari, dubbed as one of best striker of current generation in the South Asian sub-continent, has scored 28 goals international since making her debut for Nepal during the 2014 SAFF Women’s Championship. She is only behind Anu Lama (35 goals) in the list of all-time highest scorer for Nepal. She holds the record of scoring first and only double hat-trick for Nepal which is accomplished during the 2016 SAFF Championship.

Published: 23-05-2019 10:08

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