Sabitra Bhandari struck two early goals as India slumped to a 1-2 defeat against Nepal in their second game of the Hero Gold Cup women’s football tournment at the Kalinga Stadium on Monday.
Sabitra (4’, 6’) scored early for Nepal before India found a late consolation goal through Ratanbala Devi (83’) as the home side suffered its first defeat in the four-nation championship.
After the second day, Myanmar remained at the top of the table with six points from two games whereas India and Nepal are locked in second place with three points each. Iran are yet to open their account having played an equal number of games.
The Nepalese forward Sabitra took only four minutes to score her first goal followed by another two minutes later.
The Maymol Rocky-coached side stepped up its game to find the target after conceding two goals. And, Dalima Chibber almost narrowed the margin as her long-range shot missed the net by a few inches.
India got another chance in the added minutes of the first half but Anju could rattle only the side-netting.
India got two back-to-back chances to breach the Nepalese defence in the 73rd and 74th minute but could not capitalise.
In the 83rd minute, India earned a free-kick at the top of the box, owing to a handball by a Nepalese defender. And, Ratanbala converted it to narrow the margin.
India will face Myanmar in the final game of the group stage at the same venue on Wednesday.