THIMPHU: Indian girls today clinched the SAFF U-15 title after defeating defending champions Bangladesh by a solitary goal in the final played at the Changlimithang Stadium here.
In the previous edition last year, India had finished runners-up. Sunita Munda's strike in the 67th minute made all the difference between the two teams.
It was a hard-fought victory with both teams having hit the woodwork once.
The Indian girls started in an attacking fashion and as early as the 2nd minute, Avika Singh's free-kick rattled the bar and off the rebound, Shilky Devi's header went inches wide.
Three minutes later, Sunita Munda burst into the rival box with a solo run but with only the opposition goalkeeper to beat, she fumbled.
The Indian girls dominated possession and created chances almost at will. Kritina Devi's speed down the flanks proved to be a constant threat for the opposition defence.
The opposition custodian saved her shot in the 27th minute as India pressed for goals.
However, much against the run of play, the Indian defence fumbled in the 43rd minute when defender Ritu failed to clear her ball, allowing Bangladesh a clear shot at goal.
But striker Anuching Mogini failed to find the net from close range as both teams headed to the interval locked goalless.
In the second half, the Indian girls continued to dominate possession and were finally rewarded in the 67th minute.
Avika Singh found Sunita Munda in the box but the rival defence managed to clear it for a corner. Form the resultant corner, Sunita found the back of the net as she connected from Lynda Kom's cross.
Bangladesh went all out in attacking but the Indian defence stood firm.
The Indian U-15 team scored 16 goals in four matches, including the final and semi-final, and conceded just one all throughout the championship.