PYONGYANG: The Indian women’s football teamsuffered a 0-8 thrashing at the hands North Korea in their opening match of the AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers on Monday.
North Korea were clearly the dominant side throughout the Group B match and could have won by a bigger margin if not for the heroics of India’s second choice goalkeeper Panthoi Chanu, who took the field in place of injured regular custodian Aditi Chauhan, made several superb saves.
Ranked 10th in the world, some 46 places above India, North Korea started brightly and broke the deadlock on seven minutes when Ri Un-yong powered home a header from Wi Jong-sim’s corner.
Forward Ryi Kyong-hyang doubled the lead six minutes later with a simple tap in after some fine work in the penalty area by Ri Hyang-sim.
The provider Ri Hyang-sim, who was part of North Korea’s FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup winning team, then turned scorer with a thunderous low drive from distance in the 21st minute, before left winger Kim Phyong-hwa latched on to a perfectly timed through-ball and fired past the onrushing Panthoi to hand a DPR Korea a deserved 4-0 lead going into the break.
The home side continued the second half in a rampaging fashion with Wi Jong-sim getting on to the end of a pin-point cross just three minutes after the restart. Wi Jong-sim then doubled her tally from the penalty spot after she was brought down in the box by India’s Ashalata Devi Loitongbam.
With just 12 minutes remaining, Wi Jong-sim was in the thick of the action once again, this time sliding in a perfectly weighted pass for Kim Phyong-hwa to curl home her second goal of the game.
Two minutes later, substitute Sung Hyang-sim rounded off the scoring with a neat finish.
India play South Korea in their next match.
India head coach Sajid Yousof Dar said playing against a world class team was a learning curve for his side.
“We have come here with a positive mindset and hopefully play hard to fulfill our potential and take positives from this competition. The girls gave their best for full 90 minutes, and it’s important that we learn from our mistakes and look to get better for the next match,” Dar said.