November 13 was a historic day for the Indian women’s football team when it made it to the Olympic Qualifiers’ second round. This is the first time the Indian team has made it to this stage. The team went down to hosts Myanmar 2-1 in a hard-fought clash at the Thuwunna Stadium, but progressed to the Qualifiers.
India finished second in group C with four points from three matches. Myanmar topped the table.
The second round of the Olympic Qualifiers will be played in April next year. Twelve teams will be playing in three groups – each consisting of four teams.
The game started with the first half being an exciting affair since both sides managed to score a goal each. India was confident since their 7-1 win against Bangladesh. Though the Indians kick-started the match against Myanmar in style, the host scored in just the third minute and progressed in the game.
Myanmar’s Win Theingi Tun shot one goal that was deflected off an Indian defender and trickled into the net past goalkeeper Aditi Chauhan. India’s Bala Devi, who scored four in the previous game, couldn’t find her footing at the last moment. The next chance went to Kamala Devi who came up with a curling shot for the first time. However, the keeper was alert, and made the save while conceding a corner. Another player, 19-year-old Ratanbala Devi, kicked a powerful shot right into the top corner of the goal, leaving the keeper with no chance.
Bala got another shot that was saved by the Myanmar keeper, but it was Aditi who was India’s best player of the second half. She saved a number of corners, most notably one was in the 73rd minute.