Srimoti Krishna Rani Sarkar is not only the captain of the Bangladesh Under-16 women's football side but also the heart of the team, the hub of the forward line and the queen of Saturday's victory against Chinese Taipei.
The 15-year old from Tangail has all the attributes to be the queen of the Bangladesh women's team. The versatile forward is technically a left-footer but in the ongoing Asian Football Confederation U-16 Women's Championship 2017 Qualifiers, she took herself to a new level, scoring goals with her right foot as well.
What's more, she can change the complexion of a game in the blink of an eye.
After scoring five goals in the first three matches, including a spectacular hattrick against Kyrgyzstan, the charismatic forward earned two penalties against Chinese Taipei which helped her side stage a comeback from a goal behind. She then scored another to make sure her side went through to the final round.
One of the meanings of Srimoti is “lucky girl” but Krishna had to go through four important tournaments, including the South Asian Games, before coming to the limelight. She was part of the Bangladesh team which historically claimed the titles of the AFC U-14 Girls' Regional (South and Central) Championship in Nepal and Tajikistan.
During the post-match press conference on Saturday, Krishna was bold, confident and showed no fear. However, even a strong character like her was unable to hold back the tears.
“We take oath every morning that we will take women’s football in Bangladesh to the top level,” said an emotional Krishna.
She continued, “Women's senior team have been playing for a long time but still they are far behind in world football. It is simply unimaginable to think how far we have come forward. It really feels great that we have reached this level.
“After conceding the early goal, I encouraged my team mates since I'm the captain. I told them that it's not that big a deal and that we have 80 minutes left. We will score more goals.”
The class nine student's tongue was firmly in her cheek when she was asked about the senior men's team, who recently lost 5-0 against Maldives.
“Actually, I felt bad. Because Bangladesh team have been training under foreign coaches for a long time now. The boys are always privileged in everything and have all the facilities. Yet they conceded five goals against Maldives. It is really sad,” she said.
On the other hand, Bangladesh head coach Golam Rabbani Choton was effusive in his praise of Krishna.
“The girls made history. I give all the credit to my players. But my captain Krishna deserves special mention. She contributed the most and was the key person behind the win. She is the Queen of our team,” said Choton.