New Delhi: A second-half hat-trick by Ratanbala Devi led the Indian women’s football team to a 3-0 win against Indonesia in the first of their two slated friendly matches on Sunday.
Coming on the back of successive wins against Hong Kong, the Indian eves put on a dominating performance against Indonesia and ran out eventual winners, with Ratanbala Devi finding the back of the net thrice in the second half.
Despite India’s attacking valour in the first half, the team had little to show for at the half-time mark where both teams went into the tunnel on level pegging with the match goalless.
However, the Indian women started the match with some bright attacks and maintained the momentum throughout.
In the very first minute of the match, India had the chance to take the lead after the Indonesian custodian fluffed her lines. Thankfully for the opposition custodian, the defence line came to her rescue.
Possession in and around the Indonesian box kept the opponents on their toes, whilst opposition attacks were diffused easily by the Indian defence marshalled by Sweety Devi and Ashalata Devi.
In the 20th minute, India had a golden opportunity to take the lead but Sandhiya failed to find the net from close range as the opposition survived another wave of attack.
In the 31st minute, the women hit the woodwork after an attempt from outside the box left the Indonesian defence bewildered.
The Indian women kept their momentum even in the second half and adopted an attacking stance as they looked for the decisive goal. Dalima Chhibber’s shot from outside the box went inches over the Indonesian goal.
India’s attacking prowess paid dividends in the 67th minute when Ratanbala blasted the ball into the back of the net beating the opposition custodian at her near post to hand India the lead. Three minutes later she scooped in the ball once more into the net after getting past the defence to make it 2-0 for India.
In the 78th minute, Ratanbala completed her hat-trick when she took a touch inside the box and slammed the ball into the back of the net to make the scoreline read 3-0.
The Indian Women are preparing for the Tokyo Olympic Qualifiers Round 2 and will face Indonesia again on January 30.