The Dashrath Stadium was packed to the gills as hosts Nepal took the field to face Bangladesh in the SAFF Women’s Championship final on Monday.
Having finished runners-up to India on four previous occasions, hopes were high both in the Nepali team camp and among the cheering home fans of winning the elusive crown.
As it turned out, Bangladesh were better prepared for the big occasion. After Shamsunnahar opened the scoring, Krishna Rani Sarkar hugged the limelight with a brace, struck a goal on either side of half time.
Egged on by the partisan crowd, Nepal did reduce the deficit to 2-1 through Anita Basnet. Although the home team pressed relentlessly in search of an equaliser in the drizzle, Bangladesh remained alert keeping the opposition attackers at bay. Rupna Chakma also remained calm under the Bangladeshi goal, producing a fine piece of goalkeeping to block Basnet's goalbound shot in the opening half.
At the end Nepal were left pondering: what could have been.
Some glimpses from Monday's final:
(All photos: Laxmi Prasad Ngakhusi)