ISLAMABAD: Roshnan Ali, who turned 18 on Sunday, was one of the scorers in Pakistan’s 4-1 win over Bhutan at the Jinnah Stadium on Islamabad, their first of the South Asian Football Federation Women Championship.
The Pakistan players admitted that defeat against Sri Lanka in the opening match had cost the team a place in the semi-finals as they bowed out despite the win. However, Gilgit-Baltistan native Roshnan believes that winning the final match was important.
“It’s the best birthday present for me, we didn’t progress to the next round but at least we won,” Roshnan told The Express Tribune. “We had to win this one as hosts, and I’m glad I scored. It means a lot to me, really. We needed this; we played with all our heart to make the last match memorable.”
Pakistan played out a goalless first half with Bhutan, but Sahar Zaman scored the opening goal in the 52nd minute, while Shahlyala Baloch doubled the lead in the 66th.
Bhutan’s Tshering Yangdong managed to score a minute later to give them a way back into the match, but Roshnan struck Pakistan’s third in the 74th minute, while her elder sister Malika Noor scored in the 81st to make it 4-1.
“It’s a double celebration really, I’m glad even Malika scored,” said Roshnan. “Playing in Gilgit-Baltistan is sometimes difficult, but today, I feel proud, I feel excited and I am grateful for having a supportive family. My parents supported both of us and even my three brothers are here cheering us on from the stands.”
Coach Lutfi also said that the women’s team needs time but felt that the foundation has been laid. “We have new players now and it’s a combination that will go a long way,” said Lutfi.
from The Express Tribune