The Indian women’s football team did not get off to the best of starts as they were thrashed 8-0 by hosts North Korea at the Kim Il-Sung Stadium in Pyongyang on Monday.

This was the first match in Group B of the 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup qualifiers, also doubling up as the first round of the Asian round of qualification for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The Indian eves, who had won the SAFF Women’s Championship in December, were behind as early as the seventh minute, with Ri Un Yong drawing first blood for North Korea. Within twenty minutes, they were three goals down as the hosts added a fourth through Kim Phyong Hwa just before the break.

The second half was not vastly different as Wi Jong Sim got two quickfire goals to extend the home team’s advantage before Hwa scored her second as the scoring was rounded off by Sung Hyang Sim.

India, ranked 56th in the world, are in a tough group with North Korea (10), South Korea (17), Uzbekistan (42) and Hong Kong (65). Only the group winners will qualify for next year’s Asian Cup with hosts Jordan joined by Japan, Australia and China in being the teams which have already qualified.

The Blue Tigresses next face South Korea on the 5th of April.