Riding on the back of Ritu's five-goal whammy, India U-19 Women's team completed a massive 18-0 victory over their neighbours Pakistan in the opening match of the first round of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-19 Women's Championship qualifiers on Wednesday.
Renu scored five past the Pakistan keeper, all in the second half, to help India earn the huge win. The Indians got on the game right from kick-off and maintained the intensity on their opponents right through the match, as they took the scoreline well into double figures.
Manisha broke the deadlock early, scoring in the second minute after a melee inside the box saw her end up with some space from close range as she pulled the trigger.
This goal opened the proverbial floodgates, as Manisha scored another in the 25th minute, while Devneta also netted twice (9' and 25'). Daya Devi also got in the groove, scoring in the 27th minute. Meanwhile, Pakistan goalkeeper Eman Fayyaz scored an own goal, to take the tally to 6 goals.
Papki Devi and captain Jabamani Tudu scored a brace in the injury time to make the scoreline 9-0 at half-time.
In the second half, the Indian girls maintained the intensity on their opponents, as they took the scoreline well into double figures. Manisha and Daya Devi scored two goals right after the kickoff. Renu produced a scintillating performance, as she scored five goals after coming on in the second half. Her sublime performance meant that coach Alex Ambrose decided to push Devneta Roy back while Renu led the line.
Roja Devi (59') Soumyta Guguloth (77') also joined the goal-fest, to make it 18-0 for India.
"It was a great result for us. This kind of a win gives a lot of boost to our girls, and hopefully, we can go ahead and do better in the next game as well," said India head coach Alex Ambrose after the match.
Meanwhile, Pakistan gaffer Mohammad Siddique Sheikh said that it is still a learning curve for Pakistan.
"We were banned by FIFA for three and a half years. So we played absolutely no football back then. India have already started an impressive development of their women's game. We are just starting out on that front. It will take time, but we have to treat this as a learning experience," he said.