Xaxa brace leads India to 2-0 win against Malaysia
A double strike from substitute Pyari Xaxa helped a dominant Indian women's team beat Malaysia 2-0 in an international friendly match here on Monday.
After a barren first half, Pyari scored in the 79th and the 86th minutes of the match played at the MP Selayang Stadium here.
India's dominance was complete throughout the match, except for a brief spell in the second half. Malaysia did not have much to boast about in the match.
India began brightly with a flurry of attacks from the wings as well as down the middle and Malaysia just defended in desperation.
In the fourth minute, Dangmei 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 also went straight to Nurul.
Despite all the dominance, India were not able to find the back of Malaysian net. Too much excitement forced players to take a crack from long ranges even when their teammates were in the clear, and at times they preferred to hold on for too long, enabling the rivals to outnumber them.
India's best chance came in the 24th minute but an acrobatic Nurul dived full length to deny Kamala Devi's header from entering the net, Then, in the 27th minute, even as Nurul missed the flight of a Prameshwori Devi free-kick, it was headed out off the goal-line by defender Eslilah Esar.
Head coach Maymol Rocky brought in her first substitution in the 28th minute — Anju Tamang coming in for a subdued Sanju. Anju did add to the thrust but Malaysia were able to hold on as both teams headed to interval locked goal-less.
Changing over, Malaysia were faster off the blocks. For the first 10 minutes, India chased as the Malaysian girls played in the gaps. But the spell did not last long.
But 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 70th minute, Malaysia's Malini hit the post but that the perhaps the only chance the home
side had. Nine minutes later, Pyari went past her marker and placed the ball into the net. Agencies
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