THE BLOG BY CPD FOOTBALL | The World of Indian football and beyond by Chris Punnakkattu Daniel

Bala brace helps India Women's sink Bangladesh in SAFF Championship

India Women's national team
India Women's national team

Picture courtesy AIFF Media

The India Women’s national team bettered the India U-16 team’s performance in the recently held AFC U-16 Women’s Championship Qualifiers against Bangladesh, as they swept aside their neighbours 5-1 in a Group A tie of the 3rd SAFF Women’s Championship 2014 in Islamabad, Pakistan on Saturday.

The India U-16 girls had rallied to beat Bangladesh 2-1 in Dhaka last month. But no such discomforts were seen in the senior women’s display as they bossed their counterparts from start to finish, scoring heavily in the second period with the score reading 1-0 at halftime.

Courtesy the win, India are now on six points from two outings and will take on Afghanistan next in the last Group A game on Monday (November 17).

Striker Bala Devi was on target twice with Upamati Devi, Mandakini Devi, and Indumathi also getting on the scoresheet.

Just when it looked like the girls in green had done enough to thwart India in the first 45 minutes, left back Upamati broke the deadlock in first-half added time when she raced some 30 yards before playing one-two with Bembem Devi and finding the back of the net with ease from close range.

Any signs of a Bangladesh comeback were buried after the restart as the twice SAFF champions turned on the heat netting four times before the final whistle.

Halftime substitute Mandakini Devi came off the bench to score after four minutes, tucking in from a Prameshwori Devi low cross from the left flank.

Bala was then brought down inside the area and she converted from the spot with aplomb to make it 3-0 in the 57th minute.

Right winger Indumathi piled more misery on Bangladesh in the 76th minute, skipping past the last defender and sending her shot diagonally into the far corner for India’s fourth.

With the match three minutes from full time, Bala put the finishing touches on the marauding victory by netting in clinical fashion following a swift shimmy into the area. In between her strike, Bangladesh got late a consolation in the 85th minute through Sabina Khatun.

(Report & Picture courtesy AIFF Media)