The Indian women’s football team rode on Pyari Xaxa’s brace to cruise to a 5-0 win over Bahrain in their friendly game on Sunday.

India took the attack to the opposition from the get-go as Anju missed the target from a corner in the fourth minute. Two minutes later, Pyari missed a chance after being fed a cross by Dalima Chhibber. The Indian side, ranked 57, came back strong from its loss to Tunisia last week as Sangita Basfore opened the scoring in the 13th minute. Six minutes later, Pyari made amends of her previous miss to double the lead.

Skipper Ashalata also tried her luck from a free-kick, but she couldn’t beat the ‘keeper. Ranjana Chanu, Dangmei Grace and Pyari kept the Bahrain defence on its toes throughout as Indumathi Kathiresan made it 3-0 in the 34th minute.

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Thomas Dennerby’s side continued to dominate the game post the interval as Pyari found the back of the net in the 68th minute and Manisha struck a minute later to seal a commanding win over 85th-ranked Bahrain.

Pyari was sent off in the 73rd minute but it made no difference to the scoreline. The side will next face Chinese Taipei, ranked 40, on Wednesday.

These friendly matches are part of the Indian team’s preparations for the AFC Women’s Asian Cup, which it will host in January-February next year.

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