Bhandari scores four goals in Nepal's convincing winKyrgyzstan reduced the deficit in the 19th minute through Boronbekova Aizhan before Saskeeva Aiperi levelled the scores 2-2 in the 22nd minute.
Sabitra Bhandari scored four goals alone as Nepal made a flying start to their Nadezhda Cup campaign with an 8-2 drubbing of hosts Kyrgyzstan at the Central Stadium in Karakol on Sunday.
With the four goals, Bhandari took her international goal tally to 32 and remain only three goals shy of all-time leading scorer Anu Lama's mark. Apart from winger Bhandari, Anita Basnet scored a brace while midfielder Dipa Rai and skipper Niru Thapa added one goal each. Star striker Bhandari gave an early third minute lead to Nepal and doubled their advantage in the 15th minute.
Kyrgyzstan reduced the deficit in the 19th minute through Boronbekova Aizhan before Saskeeva Aiperi levelled the scores 2-2 in the 22nd minute. Midfielder Rai restored Nepal's lead three minutes later and striker Bhandari completed her hat-trick in the 30th to make the score 4-2. Winger Basnet also got on the scoresheet in the 34th and skipper Thapa added another in the 37th as Nepal went into the break with a 6-2 lead.
Despite running riot in the first half, Nepal could add only two goals after the break. Bhandari netted her fourth individual goal in the 54th minute. Basnet sealed the comprehensive victory with a powerful striker one minute from time.
The four-team tournament, also featuring Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, is being played under the round-robin league format with the top two teams making it to the final. The two other teams will fight it out for third place. Nepal will take on heavyweight Uzbekistan on Monday.
Nepal are competing in the tournament as part of their preparations for the 13th South Asian Games which is scheduled for December 1-10 in Kathmandu and Pokhara.