The Indian women’s football team produced yet another dominant display, trouncing Sri Lanka 6-0 to record its second consecutive win in the 13th South Asian Games in Pokhara, Nepal on Thursday.
Sandhiya Ranganathan (10’, 25’) struck a first-half brace, while Ratanbala Devi (18’, 88’) scored one in each half. Dangmei Grace (7’) and Bala Devi (90+1’) also scored one each to complete the rout.
India found the target as early as the seventh minute when a Ranjana Chanu cross was met by Dangmei Grace, who opened the scoring. The lead was soon doubled by Sandhiya after she was played in by Ratanbala.
Few minutes later, Sandhiya returned the favour as she set up Ratanbala to give India a three-goal lead. As the match approached the half-hour mark, Ratanbala had a go at the goal but was denied by the woodwork.
However, Grace got on to the rebound, affecting an intricate interplay between herself and Bala, before Sandhiya finished it off.
Since then, the Indian women controlled the pace of the game, as they slowed things down and passed the ball around the park before the breather.
The Indians came out with renewed vigour in the second half and dominated their opponents, prodding and probing at the Sri Lankan defensive third.
Head coach Maymol Rocky made a couple of changes around the hour mark, bringing on Daya Devi and Manisha in place of Sandhiya and Ranjana.
Towards the end of the match, the Indians added two more. With two minutes of regulation time left, substitute Manisha set Ratanbala through and the latter went on to complete her brace.
W Linthoingambi, who was brought on in the last 10 minutes, turned provider in the injury time when she sent in an inch-perfect cross for Bala Devi to score India’s sixth goal.
India, the defending champions, had beaten Maldives 5-0 in their opening match on Tuesday.