Holders India rout Sri Lanka 5-0

- PRAJWAL OLI, Biratnagar

Mar 18, 2019-

India hammered Sri Lanka 5-0 to top their group and confirm their semi-final opponents in the SAFF Women’s Championship at the Shahid Stadium in Biratnagar on Sunday.

The result of the last league match meant India finished their group with maximum six points while Sri Lanka joined them in the last four as runners up with three points. Maldives, who lost 6-0 to India and 2-0 to Sri Lanka, had already out of the semi-final equation. The Group ‘B’ winners India will meet now play Group ‘A’ runners-up Bangladesh in the semi-final on Wednesday. The other semi-final match pits hosts Nepal against Sri Lanka the same day.

The four-time champions India took the match totally under control, going 4-0 up before interval. Grace Dangmei, Sandhiya Ranganathan, Indumathi Kathiresan, Sangita Basfore and Ratnabala Devi Nongmaithem were on targets for the team who has yet to lose the title coming into the fifth edition.

India opened scoring early in the fourth minute as Dangmei was in hand to collect a shot that rebounded of the bar from Sanju’s initial. Three minutes later Ranganathan made a clinical finish from the area to double their tally. The forward needed just a touch strike to convert Sanju’s low cross.

In the 12th minute, a powerful Sanju shot from the edge of the area sailed inches above the bar. Dalima Chhibber’s 30-yard shot in the 23rd was also denied by Sri Lankan goalkeeper AM Ayomi S Wijerathna. But Kathiresen made it 3-0 in the 36th after she pounced on a poor Sri Lankan clearance to slam home from the area. India added another goal in the 44th from a penalty through Basfore. India were awarded the spot kick after RDL Rushani Gunawardane handed Sanju the ball inside the zone. India added fifth goal two minutes into the second half through Ratanbala Devi Nongmaithem. Sri Lankan custodian Wijerathna then made a spectacular save in the 62nd minute to deny skipper Ashalata Devi.

Sri Lanka coach Rohan Thilak Alponsu said India were always a strong opponent with lot of experiences unlike his team which lacked players with experience. “As we were already in the semi-finals coming into the game, we took this game as an opportunity of gain footballing lesson,” said the Sri Lankan coach adding that will adopt an offensive approach against Nepal in the semi-finals.

India coach Mayamol Nedugadan Rocky was happy with her side’s performance. “Out girls were outstanding today and were able to score number of goals,” she said tagging their semi-final opponent Bangladesh as a tough team. “We are prepared to face them,” she said.

Points table

Team    P    W    D    L    GF    GA    Pts

India    2    2    0    0    11    0    6

Sri Lanka    2    1    0    1    2    5    3

Maldives    2    0    0    2    0    8    0

Published: 18-03-2019 10:42

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