The 13th edition of the South Asian Games is underway in the cities of Kathmandu and Pokhara in Nepal as seven nations compete for top honours across 26 sporting disciplines.
Football has been a longtime competition at the South Asian Games since the inaugural edition in 1984 that was held in Kathmandu, Nepal as well. Pakistan has been the most successful nation in the Men's tournament-winning four gold medals. The women's game was introduced at the 2010 South Asian Games and the Indian team has won the gold medals at both the editions since then.
The Indian women's team got the better of the Nepalese women at both the 2010 and 2016 editions of the South Asian Games in Bangladesh and India respectively.
Former Indian international Maymol Rocky is the head coach of the current Indian women's team and has built a good, balanced side who are in prime position to get the gold medal and complete a hat trick at the South Asian Games.
The women began their quest for the top honour with a thumping 5-0 win over the Maldives Women in the first match at the Pokhara Stadium. Jabamani Tudu, Dangmei Grace, Manisha got their names on the scoresheet once whereas star midfielder Bala Devi scored twice to clinch three points for the side.
Earlier in the day, the hosts Nepal had beaten Sri Lankan team with a 1-0 scoreline. Indian women will take on the Sri Lankan tomorrow in the second match of the South Asian Games as they continue to build their path to the final and the gold medal.
Indian Women’s Football Squad at the South Asian Games 2019
Goalkeepers: Aditi Chauhan, M. Linthoinganbi Devi, E. Panthoi Chanu,
Defenders: Ashalata Devi, Roja Devi, W. Linthoinganbi Devi, Sweety Devi, Jabamani Tudu, Michele Castanha
Midfielders: Ritu Rani, Bala Devi, Sangita Basfore, Sumithra Kamaraj, Ratanbala Devi
Forwards: Sandhiya Ranganathan, Anju Tamang, Dangmei Grace, Ranjana Chanu, Manisha, Daya Devi