SAFF U-18 C'ship: India thrashes host Bhutan 4-0 in opener

Devneta Roy netted two goals and created several other chances as newly appointed head coach Alex Ambrose started off his tenure with an emphatic win.

India climbed to the top of Group A win a win over host Bhutan and is scheduled be play Maldives next on Tuesday.   -  Special Arrangement

The India U-18 girls kicked off its SAFF U-18 Championship campaign with a bang in Thimphu on Friday as it thrashed host Bhutan 4-0 to lead Group A. Devneta Roy netted two goals and created several other chances as newly appointed head coach Alex Ambrose started off his tenure with an emphatic win.

Both sides started on the frontfoot, looking to get an early advantage. In the 22nd minute, Ashem Devi was put through on goal in a one-on-one situation but Bhutan keeper Ngawang Chozong did well to parry the shot. Soumya latched on to the rebound but her shot whistled past the post. Minutes later, Manisha created some space for herself inside the box, after receiving a short corner, but sent her shot into the side-netting.

India keeper Shaugurumayum Monika Devi was called into action at the half-hour mark. Monika punched away a Bhutan onto the path of an onrushing Bhutan attacker. But the ball was eventually cleared after a goal-line scuffle.

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Devneta Roy had a golden chance to score on the 33rd minute when she was played through inside the opposition area. She tried to chip the Bhutan goalkeeper but her effort landed on top of the cross-bar and fizzled out of play. But just a few minutes later, she opened the scoring for India. She rolled the ball into the bottom corner to put the India girls in front .

Devneta Devi opened the scoring for India.   -  Special Arrangement


The goal seemed to have galvanised the Indians and they came out charging after the half-time break. Only five minutes later, Devneta netted her second of the match as she deftly controlled the ball on the edge of the area, wrong-footed a Bhutan defender and smashed a volley into the back of the net.

In the 64th minute, Manisha penetrated the Bhutan box from the right side, dodged past a defender and pulled the trigger from a tight angle. Her low shot deceived the Bhutan keeper, as the ball slipped between her legs and rolled into the goal to make it 3-0 in India’s favour. Just a couple of minutes later, Ashem got in on the act, from a dead-ball situation. Her well-placed shot from 30-yards away had enough swerve to deceive the Bhutan keeper, and bulge the back of the net.

Having gone 4-0 up, the girls dialed down their tempo perhaps saving up their energy for the next game against Maldives on October 2.


INDIA STARTING XI: Shuagurumayum Monika Devi; Kanchan Chanu, Manisha, Pakpi Devi, Devneta Roy, Ashem Roja Devi; Jabamani Tudu, Samiksha (c); Maharabam Thahenbi, Soumya Guguloth, Bawitlung.

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