SAFF Women Championship 2019: India rout Sri Lanka to emerge Group B champions

Defending champions India recorded an emphatic 5-0 win over Sri Lanka to emerge champions in Group B in the SAFF Women Championship 2019 at Sahid Rangashala, Biratnagar, on Sunday, March 17, 2019.

The win helped India set-up a semi-final clash against Bangladesh on March 20 while Sri Lanka,  who defeated Maldives 2-0 in their first match,  were left to face hosts Nepal in the other semi-final on the same day.

India needed just a draw to finish on top of their respective group having already defeated Maldives by 6-0, but the charges of Maymul Rocky were in no mood to settle for anything but a win.

They put tremendous pressure on Sri Lanka from the start of the game and got their first goal in just four minutes when Grace Dangmei headed home after ball was deflected off the cross post.

Midfielder Sanju posed a constant threat for Sri Lanka from the left side and set up India’s second goal for Sandhiya Ranganathan, who tapped in an open net after the goalkeeper was well beaten by a cross.

Indumathi Kathiresan scored the third goal in 34th minute firing home from inside the side box.

Eight minutes later, India were 4-0 after Sangita Basfore converted a penalty awarded to the side following a handball of Sri Lankan defender Rushani Gunawardana

Ratan Bala Devi struck with a powerful left-footer in 47th minute to complete the rout.

“Today it was a good game. It was a well combined play by everyone,” said Indian defender Dalima Chhibber.

“It was good that we’ve got some early goals in the match. We’ve converted our chances although somewhere we did missed out our chances.

“But moreover we have developed well as a team and I think the performance is getting better day by day and match by match.

“We are looking forward to our next match, which is against Bangladesh and we are totally ready to give our best in that,” she said.

The fifth edition of the tournament will run until March 20.