South Asian Games: Clinical India breezes past Sri Lanka

Ratanbala Devi and Sandhiya Ranganathan score a brace each as India beats Sri Lanka 6-0.

Action from the contest at Pokhara, Nepal. Photo: AIFF Media

Ratanbala Devi and Sandhiya Ranganathan scored a brace each as the Indian women's football team defeated Sri Lanka 6-0 at Pokhara, Nepal, in the South Asian Games on Thursday.

India had a hold over its opponent right from the start. In the seventh minute, a cross from Ranjana Chanu was met by Dangmei Grace, who opened the scoring. The lead was soon doubled by Sandhiya after she was played in by Ratanbala.

Soon after the quarter-hour mark, Sandhiya set up Ratanbala for India's third goal. Before the half-hour mark, India had one more. Ratanbala had a go at goal but was denied by the woodwork. Grace got on to the rebound and had an intricate interplay between herself and Bala, before Sandhiya finished it off.

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The Indians maintained its assertive approach in the second half, too, prodding and probing Sri Lanka's defence.

In the final few minutes of the contest, India added two more. With two minutes of regulation time left, substitute Manisha set Ratanbala through; Ratanbala went on to complete her brace. W. Linthoingambi, who was brought on in the last 10 minutes, turned provider in added time when she sent in an inch-perfect cross for Bala Devi to score the sixth goal.

India now has two wins under its belt, having defeated Maldives on Tuesday. It next plays Nepal on December 7. The final will be held on December 9.

Final result: India 6 (Dangmei Grace 7’; Sandhiya Ranganathan 10’, 25’; Ratanbala Devi 18’, 88’; Bala Devi 90+1’) beat Sri Lanka 0.
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