Bhubaneswar: India women’s football team began its campaign at the Hero Gold Cup on a winning note with a solitary goal against IR Iran at Kalinga Stadium here on Saturday.
It was India’s fifth consecutive win, having won the last four friendlies against Hong Kong and Indonesia respectively.
After initial scare when winger Dangmei Grace latched on to a loose back-pass and raced towards the goal, which was cleared by the goalkeeper, India was back in game. The match-winner in the 48th minute came from Anju Tamang, who had earlier got into the Iran box and Ratanbala Devi, but her first-time shot was wide of the target.
After the win, Odia footballer Jabamani Tudu said that the team was confident of a superb show in the tournament. She is the first player from Odisha to play an international match. She plays in the forward position for the team.
The four-nation tournament, the first such competition in India for senior women’s team, is being organised by All India Football Federation in association with the Odisha government. It will be played in a round-robin format with the two top teams making it to the final on February 15.
Myanmar are the highest ranked team in the tournament with a FIFA ranking of 44, while Iran are ranked 60th and India are 62. Nepal will be the lowest-ranked team.
India will play Nepal in its next match on Monday.