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Gold Cup 2019: Solid India prove their mettle and set the ball rolling

9:46 PM EST 2/9/19
India Iran Gold Cup Women
India Women are on a five-match winning streak...

It took ninety minutes of hard work and fighting spirit but at the end of it, the India Women's national team came out fair winners against an ineffective Iran side in the first-ever Women's football tournament in the country. 

The Indian defence, led by the centre-back pairing of Ashalata Devi and Sweety Davi, dealt with everything thrown at them by an Iranian attack that looked clueless. And a sucker punch at the end of a flowing move forward in the 48th minute helped India score a goal that ultimately turned out to be more than enough. 

The hosts looked solid throughout and the few efforts at Aditi Chauhan's goal were either futile half-baked ones or straight at the goalkeeper. 

Dalima Chhibber was full of energy up and down the right flank and Jabamani Tudu had fewer things to deal with on the other flank, due to the Sanju's exploits in the attacking third. The Haryana-born forward was a constant threat from the left flank and often drifted inside to cause panic inside the box. It was Sanju who started the move that led to the goal and grabbed the assist as she put the ball on a plate for Anju Tamang to tap in. She later hit the crossbar with a curling effort as well. 

Sangita Basfore and Ratanbala Devi were quick to get to the second balls in midfield and dictate the tempo of the game. Dangmei Grace was a threat inside the box, especially in the early stages of the game.

Iran, ranked at 60 by FIFA, are two places above India and the players have done well and projected a united front to claim three points from the game. Maymol Rocky's unit has won five games in a row, against Indonesia, Hong Kong and now Iran. Nepal and 44th ranked Myanmar are up next and the Gold Cup has given them much-needed practice before the big fixtures coming up later this year.