The Indian women’s soccer team got its Asian Games campaign off to the best of starts Sunday with something resembling a cricket score against the Maldives, winning 15-0.
India scored nine goals in the first half and six in the second. It had 38 shots during the match, 24 of which were on goal. The Maldives only managed one shot, and it wasn’t on goal.
Two Indian players – Kamala Devi Yumnam and Sasmita Malik – scored five goals each. That is enough to earn the golden boot in some tournaments: At the men’s World Cup in Brazil earlier this year, Colombia’s James Rodriguez was the top scorer with six goals from five games. Germany’s Thomas Mueller was next with five from seven.
A 15-0 win in international soccer is pretty rare. It is even rarer at school and pub level. But India’s win on Sunday was a minor drubbing compared to the 2001 match between Australia and American Samoa, which the Australian men won 31-0. Archie Thompson alone scored 13 goals.
India will have a bigger challenge in its next match, on Wednesday against Asian Games host South Korea. India is 50th in the women’s soccer world rankings, while South Korea is 18th. South Korea beat 29th–ranked Thailand 5-0 on Sunday. India plays Thailand on Sunday, after the Asian Games officially opens.
The Indian men’s soccer team is also competing at the Asian Games. Its first match is Monday, against the United Arab Emirates, the same time as Bangladesh plays Afghanistan and China plays North Korea.
The other team in India’s group is Jordan. The men’s tournament follows the same lines as the OIympics, in that all but three players in each team must be under-23.