Kuala Lumpur: A brace from substitute Pyari Xaxa enabled a dominant Indian Women’s national team to beat Malaysia by two goals in the International Friendly in Kuala Lumpur on Monday.
After a barren first half, Pyari scored in the 79th and the 86th minutes respectively. India’s dominance was complete all throughout and except for a brief spell in the second half, Malaysia didn’t have much to boast about in the match.
The first half was totally one-sided. India’s burst right from the kick-off caught Malaysia unaware. There was a flurry of attacks from the wings as well as down the middle and Malaysia just defended in desperation.
In the 4th minute, Grace dribbled her way into the box but her shot went straight to rival Goalkeeper Nurul Azurin. The very next moment, Dalima Chhibber’s shot from outside the box went straight to Nurul. The first corner followed, as early as the 8th minute.
The first ten minutes set the momentum for the rest of the half. But despite all the dominance, India were not able to convert it into goals.
India’s best chance came in the 24th minute when an acrobatic Nurul dived full length to deny Kamala Devi’s header from entering the net and then in the 27th minute, even as Nurul missed the flight of a Prameshwori Devi free-kick, it was headed out off the line by defender Eslilah Esar.
India, in their quest to recover, slowed down proceedings to eventually frustrate the hosts. Even as most of India’s attacks were down the right, it was Prameshwori on the left who created something out of nothing most of the times she had the ball.
In the 83rd minute, Bala leapt higher than all to meet Dalima’s corner but it rebounded off the post. But it didn’t matter much as Pyari scored her second in the 86th minute.
India 2 (Pyari Xaxa 79th, 86th) beat Malaysia 0.
(Writer is with AIFF Media)