The Indian Women’s Senior National Team started in a winning note in the Round 1 of the Olympic qualifiers. A goal each be Kamala Devi, Ashalata Devi and Radharani combined with an own goal helped India beat Sri Lanka 4-0 in their opening encounter at the Mandalar Thiri Sports Stadium in Mandalay on Friday. The Indian Women started on an attacking note and required Sri Lankan goalkeeper Nisansala to make crucial saves off Bala Devi and Sasmita Malik minutes into the match.
However, India opened scoring in the 12th minute after an exquisite one touch play around Sri Lanka’s 18 yard box. Kamala Devi applied the finishing touch to the brilliant move blasting the ball into the back of the net. The Indian eves doubled their lead five minutes later with a screamer from Ashalata Devi which gave the Lankan keeper no chance.
Indians came close to adding to their lead in the 39th minute but Bembem Devi’s shot hit the woodwork. The Indian women dominated possession throughout the first half and came close again.
After the break, Indian Women picked up from where they left off as Kamala Devi earned a corner immediately after the restart. The constant pressure paid dividends as the Indian Eves struck again on the 48th minute prompting Sri Lanka’s Malisha Nilini to score in her own net.
Kamala Devi could have doubled her personal tally after the 51st minute but her shot flew inches wide. Six minutes later, Radharani’s looping effort from the edge of the box eluded the Lankan keeper to end up in the back of the net.
India orchestrated the pace of the match following the third goal as their defence held steady to repel any Sri Lankan attacks. There were late chances in India’s favour to extend their formidable lead but it didn’t happen.
The Indian Women meet Myanmar next in their Olympic Qualifiers on March 15, 2015.