Myanmar rode two first half goals from Naw Phaw and Khin Moe Wai to edge past India in their first Group D encounter of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup Qualifiers at the Faisal Al Huseni Stadium, West Bank on Tuesday.
Naw Phaw and Khin Moe Wai scored first half goals for Myanmar in the 5th and 26th minute respectively. Yee Yee Oo’s effort in the 27th minute hit the woodwork.
Before India could settle down and get a feel of the artificial turf, Myanmar surged ahead. It was a good goal and goalkeeper Roshni Devi had no chance from a one-to-one situation.
Receiving a cross from winger Khin Moe Wai, the Myanmar forward did well to escape her marker and place her shot into the roof of the net.
Striker Bala Devi had a golden opportunity to convert in the 22nd minute after being set up by former India Captain Oinam Bembem Devi on top of the box. The striker from Manipur failed to connect.
Just when India looked to have found their rhythm which helped them do a double against Bahrain a week ago in two Friendlies, Myanmar doubled the lead cashing in on the counter. Moe Wai converted Than Than Htwe’s spadework from close range.
It was 2-0 at halftime.
India seemed to have shrugged off the burr under their saddle post the breather. They looked more at ease on the artificial turf and attacked with renewed vigour.
In the opening exchanges of the second essay, Myanmar – playing a high line in the first half — were forced to drop deep as the likes of Bembem Devi and Kamala Devi made frequent inroads into the final third.
Myanmar attacked in phases, mostly attempting to increase the cushion from set pieces. Goalscorer Naw Phaw was replaced by stopper back Thida Oo in the 66th minute. They were literally defending in numbers switching from the initial 4-4-2 formation to a defensive 5-4-1.
For India, Coach Anadi Barua made two changes. Pinky Bompal replaced Bala Devi and Sasmita Malik made way for Dangmei Grace. The match ended 2-0 in favour of Myanmar.
In the first match of the day, Chinese Taipei blanked hosts Palestine 6-0 in the Group’s curtain-raiser. Midfielder Lin Ya Han notched up a hattrick while Lin Kai Lin, Lai Li Chin and and Yu Hsiu Chin netted one a piece.
India – Starting XI:
Roshni Devi; Tuli Goon [C], Ashalata Devi, Radharani Devi, Suprava Samal; Sasmita Malik, Premi Devi, Oinam Bembem Devi, Prameshwori Devi; Kamala Devi, Bala Devi
(AIFF Press Release)