Football: Ratanbala Devi's hat-trick leads India women to comfortable win

In the first of two friendlies against Indonesia, India ran out a comfortable winner, courtesy a Ratanbala Devi hat-trick.

India's Ratanbala Devi (right). (file photo)   -  AIFF MEDIA

A second-half hat-trick by Ratanbala Devi led the India women’s football team to a 3-0 win against Indonesia in the first of two slated friendlies. Indonesia. The Indian Women's team is preparing for the Tokyo Olympic qualifiers second round and will face Indonesia again on January 30.

Following successive wins over Hong Kong, India dominated Indonesia and ran out a comfortable winner, with Ratanbala Devi scoring thrice in the second half.

In the very first minute of the match, India had the chance to take the lead after the Indonesian custodian fluffed her lines. Thankfully for the opposition custodian, the defence came to her rescue. Possession in and around the Indonesian box kept the opponent on its toes, whilst opposition attacks were diffused easily by the Indian defence marshalled by Sweety Devi and Ashalata Devi.

On 20 minutes, India had a golden opportunity to take the lead but Sandhiya failed to find the net from close range as the opposition survived another wave of attack. In the 31st minute, the woodwork was struck after an attempt from outside the box left the Indonesian defence bewildered.

The Indian women maintained the momentum even in the second half. Dalima Chhibber’s shot from outside the box went inches over the Indonesian goal.

India’s attacking endeavour paid dividends in the 67th minute, when Ratanbala Devi found the back of the net beating the opposition custodian at her near post to give India the lead. Three minutes later, she scooped in the ball once more into the net after getting past the defence to make it 2-0 for the Indian women.

In the 78th minute, Ratanbala completed her hat-trick when she took a touch inside the box and slammed the ball into the back of the net.

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