Lynda Kom hat-trick helps India thump Nepal 5-1 in U-18 SAFF football C'ships

Keeping their winning momentum alive after their victory against Bangladesh in the last game, the Indians heaped pressure on the opponent from the opening minute.

Indian football

REPRESENTATIVE IMAGE: With the victory, India strengthened its lead in pole position with nine points from three matches.   -  AIFF

India produced yet another stellar performance in the ongoing SAFF U-18 Women's Championship as they beat Nepal 5-1 in their third fixture of the tournament here on Monday.

India take on Bangladesh in their final match on Friday.

A splendid hat-trick by Lynda Kom in the 23rd, 38th and 61st minutes and a goal each by Shilky Devi in the 16th minute and Anita Kumari in the 55th minute propelled the Young Tigresses to a comfortable win after Nepal had pulled one goal back in the second half.

Keeping their winning momentum alive after their victory against Bangladesh in their last game, the Indians heaped pressure on the opponent from the opening minute. In the second minute itself, Lynda Kom tried to put in a header but missed by a whisker.

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India's first breakthrough came in the 16th minute when captain Shilky Devi delivered with an inch-perfect header from Nitu Linda's pass.

Lynda Kom, in the 23rd minute, doubled the lead with a glancing header.

After having a two-goal lead, India's combination play threatened the Nepal backline.

In the 25th minute, Nitu Linda tried to shoot from the top-left corner but missed it.

Another brilliant goal was scored by Lynda Kom, in the 38th minute, when she made a first-time volley to chip in the ball off a cross from the right by Shilky.

Minutes into the added time of the first half, coach Thomas Dennerby made the first substitution where Sunita Munda was replaced by Amisha Baxla. The half-time scoreline read 3-0 in favour of India.

The second half began on a similar note to the first with India dominating proceedings.

Another substitution was made in the 46th minute where Babina Devi was brought on in place of Nitu Linda.

Nepal looked to strike back but were struggling to create chances and keep possession in dangerous areas as the Indian team stood firm and forced them to go for long-range efforts, which were easily dealt with by Indian keeper Melody.

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India made it four for the night in the 55th minute through Anita's powerful long range shot from more than 25 yards out.

A change over came in the 55th minute as India custodian Melody Chanu was replaced by Adrija Sarkhel.

The host extended its lead with the fifth goal through Lynda Kom's hat-trick in the 61st minute from Sunita's low cross from the right.

In the 79th minute, Nepal pulled one back through Sadipa Bholan, who latched on to a loose ball and slotted it home.

With the victory, India strengthened its lead in pole position with nine points from three matches.

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