It was the surprising display as Bangladesh U-17 or youth team emerged champions in the prestigious Bangabandhu IHF Challenge Trophy Women's (youth) beating India by 46-43 goals in the nerve-wrecking final held on May 17 at Shaheed Captain M Mansur Ali National Handball Stadium in the city.
However, the Bangladesh U-19 or junior team could not perform like the youth team as they lost to their superior India by 48-17 goals in the day's another junior section final match also held at the same venue, reports UNB.
Bangladesh youth team will now play in the second round of this tournament for being champions in South-Central Asia Zone-2. Bangladesh never defeated India before at any national or age level meets.
Thanks to Bangladesh skipper Mast. Marfe, who led from the front, snatching the much-expected trophy for the nation from the jaw of mighty India with an impressive performance, scoring 15 goals in the final.
Apart from the Marfe's 15 goals, Runa Layla, Taniya, Dipa Rani, Fatema Prema and Sania Akter scored 14, 10, 5, 1 and 1 goals respectively for Bangladesh. Renuka scored highest 16 goals for India.
The final took dramatic turns several times. At the 20 minutes of the match, Bangladesh were trailed 16-10, however the host staged a brilliant fight back and went to the break with 20-20 draw.
The second half was more competitive than the first half as the players of both teams displayed their sportsmanship as well as muscle strength.
After the match, the excited Bangladesh team's coach Dalia Akter termed the result as surprise. "Before the start of the tournament, I told all that my team will show the surprise that they did in the final. I am very happy with the performance of the girls. I never beat India in my playing career, but for the first time as a coach I was able to write that achievement. It's difficult to beat India in any game, especially in handball is more difficult. My girls have down that difficult task," said the proud coach.
At one stage Bangladesh were behind than India and commenting about that the head coach said. "Even though we were behind, I had a confidence that the girls would stage fight back, they implemented my plan perfectly in the field," she said.
The team were still trailed when Murfe was sent off after receiving a red card ,but Runa, Dipa played extraordinary well. I'll especially give credit to my goalkeeper, she was superb under the bar with her outstanding performance. I worked on the team's mistakes yesterday (Tuesday) before taking to the field against India. We lost to India in the league stage due to mistakes that the girls made, but today they made fewer mistakes. In a word, I am very happy," the coach said further.
Bangladesh youth team captain Mast. Marfe played excellently brilliant in the whole tournament. She played a major role in lifting Bangladesh to the final and made the team champions. After the match, the captain said: "I am very happy. Thanks to all coaches, players, officials, everyone has supported us a lot."
She also didn't forget to give a big thank to the local crowds, who came to the stadium to support the Bangladesh team form the big bowl in the final match.
Bangladesh Olympic Association's secretary general Syed Shahed Reza handed over the trophy to champions Bangladesh team. Bangladesh Handball Federation's (BHF) president AKM Nurul Fazal Bulbul, it's general secretary Asaduzzaman Kohinoor, tournament organizing committee's chairman and former senior secretary Md. Aminul Islam were also present in the prize distribution ceremony.