Leaving the disappointment of the draw against Nepal behind, the Indian women's national team recorded a fine 7-1 win against Bangladesh in their second match of the 2020 AFC Women's Olympic Qualifiers Round 1, held on Sunday (November 11) at the Thuwunna Stadium in Yangon. Bala Devi scored four out of the seven goals for India, with Kamala Devi grabbing a brace and Sanju wrapping an excellent performance with a well-deserved strike.
The first half started off evenly but after the opening goal from India, it became a one-sided affair as an eight-minute blitz featuring three goals completely left the Bangladeshi players shell-shocked. It was coach Maymol Rocky's side that created the first chance of the match as Ratanbala Devi's effort from the top of the box went wide in the fifth minute.
Six minutes later, Bangladesh forward Mosammat looked to be through on goal but Dalima Chhibber produced an inch-perfect tackle inside her own box to remove the danger. Having played out a draw against Nepal in their first match, the Indian team was looking to respond in style and 16 minutes into the contest, they opened the scoring from the spot.
Bala Devi was brought down by the Bangladeshi left-back inside the penalty area and Kamala Devi, India's lone scorer in the previous match, made no mistake from the spot as she slotted her kick low to the keeper's right, who could not reach it despite guessing the correct way.
Bala, wearing the number 10 jersey, soon had another chance to score but her shot was blocked at the very last moment in the 17th minute. She was playing with real desire and was not to be denied five minutes later as she successfully converted an excellent cross from the right by Grace Dangmei and opened her account for the competition.
In the very next minute, she added another to her kitty as she stunned the opposition defence with an absolute rocket of a shot from 30 yards that left flew in even before the keeper could react. Bangladesh had a chance of their own in the 28th minute but India could have had a bigger lead by half-time as Ratanbala Devi's long-ranger in the 42nd minute hit both posts and went straight into the goalie's arms.
The players were welcomed back onto the pitch by a heavy downpour and while the showers came and went in the second half, the Indian side continued its goalscoring run. Four minutes after the restart, a looping effort came back off the upright and the rebound, hit by Kamala, was saved. In the 53rd minute, she added a second as turned in a cross from the right flank after the Bangladesh defence failed to clear the ball away.
The 62nd minute saw Bala complete her hat-trick as she tapped the ball into the empty net after Sanju broke free down the left and unselfishly passed the ball across goal as she closed in on the keeper. The left-winger had been excellent throughout the game and got the goal she deserved in the 72nd minute with a delightful chip that glided over the keeper and into the net.
Just three minutes later, Bala picked up her fourth goal of the afternoon - converting yet another beautiful ball from the left by the tireless Sanju. The Bangladesh side picked up a consolation goal with 10 minutes to go as Krishna Rani scored from a tight angle to deny the Indians a clean sheet.
With this result, India are still unbeaten in the competition with four points from their two matches so far.
India (Starting XI): Aditi Chauhan, Sweety Devi, Ashalata Devi, Jabamani Tudu, Sangita, Ratanbala Devi, Sanju, Kamala Devi, Bala Devi, Grace Dangmei, Dalima Chhibber.