Shillong, Feb 9 (IANS) India women’s football team thrashed Sri Lanka 5-0 in the South Asian Games (SAG) at the Jawaharlal Nehru Sports Stadium here on Tuesday.
This is India’s first victory in the competition after a goalless draw with the Maldives on Friday.
The Islander’s gave away the first goal after S.S. Pathirana headed in the wrong end through a corner kick taken by Samista Malik in the 23rd minute.
But the day belonged to India’s striker Dangmei Grace who scored two goals in the match.
Grace scored the first goal at the added time of the first half after a scramble inside the box, and her second goal came in the 58th minute.
Sri Lanka could have draw their first blood in the 9th minute lead through Hasara Dilrange after the midfielder found India’s keeper Aditi Chauhan out of her position, but Dilrange failed to convert it.
In the second half, the Indian eves continued to dominate their position, pushing back the Islander’s mid-fielders.
However, India’s midfielder Y. Kamala Devi sent a cracker of a shot that hit the crossbar. Grace came back for her second goal in the 58th minute after finding an opening and taking a 40 yard shot that found the goal mouth.
Two minutes later, Kamala Devi found the net through a comfortable tap assisted by Grace for India’s fourth goal.
In the 74th minute, Sri Lankan defender I.M. Waithanage was handed a yellow card after she brought down Kamala inside the box. Sasmita Malik, who took the penalty and placed the ball away from Sri Lanka’s custodian A Wijerathna for the fifth and final goal.
“It was a deciding match for us and we had no choice but to get the three points. The girls played well and that was a key factor in our win,” India coach Sajid Yusuf Dhar said at the post match press conference.
Saying that the first match against the Maldives (goalless draw) was a “wake up call”, Dhar said, “We will give our best to win our next match against Nepal but it is gonna be a tough match against them (Nepal).”
“We have already made our strategies against Nepal, and we will be going all out against them,” the Indian coach said.