Preeti Rai sends Nepal to WAFF Women's Championship finals with dramatic victory

Preeti Rai's last-gasp strike secured Nepal's remarkable comeback victory against Lebanon and set up the final against Jordan in the WAFF Women's Championship in Saudi Arabia.

In a thrilling semi-final clash, Nepal found themselves trailing after an unfortunate own goal from Puja Rana in the 38th minute. Trailing at the break, Nepal began pressing on early in the second half. Their persistence paid off when Sabitra Bhandari capitalized on Rashmi Kumari Ghising's pass in the 76th minute to level the score with her ninth goal of the competition.

As the clock ticked down and the prospect of extra time loomed large, Preeti Rai emerged as the hero clinching the winning goal in the fifth and final minute of added time. Rai's decisive strike sealed Nepal's berth in the finals in dramatic fashion, sparking scenes of celebration among hundreds of Nepali fans at the stadium.

Nepal will now face Jordan in the title-decider on Thursday. Jordan secured their spot with a commanding 5-0 victory over Palestine in the other semi-final match.

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Sensational Samba propels Nepal into WAFF semifinals with five-star performance

Sabitra Bhandari Samba's remarkable display of goalscoring prowess propelled Nepal into the semifinals of the WAFF Women's Championship as she scored five goals in a stunning victory over Iraq on Thursday.

Bhandari's dominance was on full display as she netted four goals in the first half alone, setting the tone for Nepal's commanding performance at Hall Stadium in Jeddah. Her first goal came with a darting run in the 15th minute, followed swiftly by her second in the 16th minute after capitalizing on a defensive error. She completed her hat-trick in the 37th minute, heading in a cross from Puja Rana. Just before half-time, Bhandari secured her fourth goal with a rebound effort after her initial shot was saved by Iraq's goalkeeper Zahra Al-Sadei.

Despite Iraq's improved defensive efforts in the second half, Bhandari remained relentless, adding her fifth goal in the 80th minute from a cross by Preeti Rai. This historic goal marked Bhandari's 50th goal for the national side, solidifying her position as the highest goal scorer in Nepalese football history.

Nepal's victory, coupled with Bhandari's exceptional performance, propelled them to the top of the points table with an emphatic win.

(Photos via WAFF)

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ANFA Ex-Co meeting concludes

The seventh executive committee meeting of All Nepal Football Association has concluded on Monday.

The meeting chaired by ANFA President Pankaj Bikram Nembang endorsed the estimated budget of Rs 46,42,460 for the upcoming ANFA Congress on February 26. The meeting endorsed the annual calendar for 2024 and decided to present it in the Congress for endorsement.

The decisions by the meeting in full.


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Nepal start WAFF Women's Championship campaign with dominant 4-1 victory over Syria

Nepal kicked off their WAFF Women's Championship journey in style with a resounding 4-1 win over Syria in a Group B match at Hall Stadium in Jeddah.

Amisha Karki set the tone early for Nepal, opening the scoring in the 10th minute after seizing an opportunity from a failed clearance. Anita Basnet doubled the lead just three minutes later with a remarkable goal directly from a corner kick.

Adding the third was Sabitra Bhandari, making her debut for the national team following her signing with French side En Avant Guingamp, who found the back of the net six minutes later, capitalizing on a brilliant assist from Amisha Karki.

Despite Syria pulling one back with an own goal from Gita Rana in the 43rd minute, Nepal maintained their dominance, with Rekha Poudel sealing the victory with a well-taken goal in the 69th minute, courtesy of a cross from Sabitra Bhandari.

With this impressive victory under their belt, Nepal look to their second group match against Iraq on February 22 before concluding their group matches with a face-off against Palestine on February 24th.

Hosts Saudi Arabia, Guam, Lebanon, and Jordan are in the other group. The top two teams from each group will reach the semi-final of the competition.

(Photo via WAFF Youtube channel)

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