SRI LANKA 5 – CAMBODIA 0
Sri Lanka looks to make a splash
The first match of day 2 at the Women’s Asian Games Qualifier 2022 at the GBK Sports Complex Hockey Stadium in Jakarta, Indonesia was between Sri Lanka and Cambodia.
For Sri Lanka it would be the first match in this qualifying tournament, so nerves played a much more important role than for Cambodia who had already played their first match yesterday against Hong Kong China and were defeated 5-0.
The team coached by Botheju Welathanthirige prepared a lot for this Asian Games qualifier as it would be a unique opportunity for the team to advance to the Asian Games for the first time in its history.
The match was mostly for Sri Lanka, although the first goal only came 30 minutes into the match, you could see an offensive superiority in blue.
Cambodia tried to defend with all their players positioned far back, which made it difficult for those positioned in the WR to enter the box to score the first goal.
The first goal was scored by Prarthana Muthukuttige from a penalty corner at the start of the 3rd quarter, after a drag flick with not much power, but good aim that the Cambodian defense could not handle.
After a bad start by Cambodia, the team led by Pradeepa Gangedura, managed to recover a cross in the box for Vimukthini Kaluarachchige to be alone with the goalkeeper out of the goal and push it to put his team 2-0.
Already in the last quarter after an incredibly good individual play of player number 8 Sandali Perera again the number 6 of the blue team shot an excellent shot that went into the goal.
1 minute later number 8 found the ball after a shot outside the box to try to deflect it and after a rebound hit it to put her team up 4-0.
Cambodia was just trying to defend against a superior opponent, but whenever they could, they were playing from deep in their own area to get to the Sri Lankan goal as quickly as possible.
With 50 seconds left in the match, Sri Lanka was awarded a penalty stroke which was converted by Shanika Hewa to end the match 5-0.
The Player of the Match was undoubtedly Sandali Perera who played the game, made her team play and scored a goal. We will see more of this 25-year-old player in the rest of the tournament.
Cambodia will play next against Kazakhstan on June 9, while Sri Lanka will play tomorrow June 8 against Singapore to keep trying to stay at the top of this qualifying tournament.