Bangladesh forward Sagorika names as best player, highest scorer

Ten days after chaotic final, Bangladesh girls receive SAFF U-19 trophy, medals

Bangladesh women’s team, which was declared joint champions with India after a marathon, dramatic  and much talked about final in the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) U-19 Women’s Championship 2024 here on February 8, got the champions trophy and individual medals after about ten days at the BFF premises Sunday afternoon.

Only 13 players of the Bangladesh team were present on the occasion as most of the remaining players were busy preparing for their SSC exam.

Meritorious forward Sagorika, who guided Bangladesh team to clinch the title, was adjudged the most valuable player and also ended as highest scorer of the tournament.

She scored twice against Bangladesh’s 4-1 goals victory Nepal, netted the match-winner against India in the league match and also scored the match equaliser against India in the dying moment of the final in the stipulated time.

SAFF Secretary General Anwarul Haque Helal handed over the trophy to Bangladesh team. AFC and BFF member Mahfuza Ahkter Kiron, who is also chairperson of BFF Women’s Football Committee, among others,  was also present at the function.

Earlier on February 8, Bangladesh and India were declared the joint champions as the final match between them was ended 1-1 draw in the schedule 90-minute and was again locked 11-11 goals in the sudden death session of the tie breaker at the Shaheed Bir Shreshtha Shipahi Mustafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur here.

After the 11-11 tie in the penalty shootout, a spur-of-the-moment decision by the Sri Lankan Match Commissioner D Silva Jayasooriya Dilan disrupted the momentum of the match.

The official chose to decide the champions  by toss.

As per the rules, such a decision was never to be made through a method like a coin toss.

But, the Lankan carried the decision and directed the match referee to conduct the toss and India was announced the champion after the team won the coin flip.

Bangladesh began objecting to the toss at the same moment as India won and began to celebrate.  Later, it was discovered that the coin toss method was never to be used to break the tie in deciding the champion.

Realising his mistake, the match commissioner later requested all to resume the shootout after cancelling the toss and the result.

But the Indian women refused to continue to play and left the ground immediately while Bangladesh stayed on the ground.

Following the refusal to play, the Indian team was given 30 minutes to return to play. But India did not return even after two and a half hours.

Later, the match commission and the SAFF official decided to declare both of them as joint champions.

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