India U-16 women thumps Hong Kong 6-1

A hat-trick from Lynda Kom and captain Shilky Devi's brace led India to a resounding win in its AFC U-16 Women's Championship qualifying opener.

India U16 women's team poses for the team photo before kick off.   -  the-aiff.com

A hat-trick from Lynda Kom enabled India U-16 women’s team kick off its AFC Under-16 women's qualifying campaign in style, breezing past Hong Kong 6-1 in its first match in Ulan Bator, Mongolia on Saturday.

Apart from Lynda’s hat-trick, captain Shilky Devi netted a brace while Sunita Munda scored the other.

The Indian girls, who won the SAFF U-15 Championship last month in Bhutan, are aiming to qualify for the final phase of the AFC U-16 Women’s Championship.

India plays Pakistan next on September 19 before it takes on host Mongolia and Laos. The group topper gains an automatic qualification into the final phase of the AFC Championship to be held next year.

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Head Coach Firmin D’Souza sounded ecstatic after the win. “The girls executed the game plan perfectly. The win acts as a bonus for our morale that has been high since the girls won the SAFF U-15 Championship,” he said.

“We are confident ahead of our clash against Pakistan and hope to continue our winning ways,” he added.

It was, in fact, Sunita who opened the scoring on 23 minutes.

In the 35th minute, Shilky Devi doubled India’s lead while Lynda made it 3-0 before half-time.

After the break, the Indian girls maintained the intensity and were rewarded with a penalty in the 50th minute which Shilky gleefully converted.

In the 73rd minute, Lynda Kom, taking full advantage of Aveka Sinh’s vicious cross, made it 5-0.

Hong Kong reduced the margin in the 86th minute but Lynda completed her hat-trick in the dying moments to round off a great day for the Indian U-16 women's team.