India women were in a dominant mood on Sunday as Bala Devi smashed four to lead her side to a resounding 7-1 win over Bangladesh in the AFC Olympics 2020 qualifiers in Yangon.
Kamala Devi grabbed a brace and Sanju also got on the scoresheet with a well-deserved strike. The first half started off evenly, but after the opening goal from India, it became a one-sided affair. An eight-minute blitz featuring three goals completely left the Bangladeshi players shell-shocked.
It was Maymol Rocky’s side that created the first chance of the match as Ratanbala Devi’s effort from the edge of the box went wide in the fifth minute.
Six minutes later, Bangladesh forward Mosammat looked to be through on goal but Dalima Chhibber produced an inch-perfect tackle inside her own box to thwart the danger.
Sixteen minutes into the contest, the Indians opened the scoring from the penalty spot. Bala Devi was brought down inside the area and Kamala Devi – India’s lone scorer in the previous match – made no mistake from the spot as she slotted her kick low to the keeper’s right.
Bala soon had another chance a minute later but her shot was blocked. However, she made amends five minutes later as she successfully converted a cross from the right by Grace Dangmei and opened her account for the competition.
She added another to her kitty a minute later as she stunned the opposition defence with a rocket of a shot from 30 yards that left flew in even before the keeper could react.
Bangladesh had a chance of their own in the 28th minute but India could have had a bigger lead by half-time as Ratanbala Devi’s long-ranger in the 42nd minute hit both posts and went straight into the goalie’s arms.
The players were welcomed back onto the pitch by a heavy downpour. The Indian side, though, continued its goalscoring run. Four minutes after the restart, a looping effort came back off the upright and the rebound, hit by Kamala, was saved.
In the 53rd minute, Kamala added a second as turned in a cross from the right flank after the Bangladesh defence failed to clear the ball.
The 62nd minute saw Bala complete her hat-trick as she tapped the ball into the empty net after Sanju broke free down the left and unselfishly passed the ball across goal as she closed in on the keeper.
The left-winger had an excellent game and got the goal she deserved in the 72nd minute with a delightful chip that went over the keeper and into the net.
Just three minutes later, Bala picked up her fourth goal of the afternoon, converting yet another beautiful ball from the left by the tireless Sanju. The Bangladesh side picked up a consolation goal with 10 minutes to go as Krishna Rani scored from a tight angle to deny the Indians a clean sheet.
With this result, India are still unbeaten in the competition with four points from their two matches so far.
India (Starting XI): Aditi Chauhan, Sweety Devi, Ashalata Devi, Jabamani Tudu, Sangita, Ratanbala Devi, Sanju, Kamala Devi, Bala Devi, Grace Dangmei, Dalima Chhibber.
(With inputs from AIFF)