Bala Devi becomes first female Indian footballer to score in Europe

Striker Bala Devi came on as a late substitute for Rangers Women and scored the final goal in a 9-0 victory for her club. It was a historic moment for Indian football.

By Rahul Venkat ·

Indian football star Bala Devi became the first female player from the country to score in a European professional football league on Sunday.

Bala Devi, the first woman Indian footballer to sign a professional contract with a European club, scored the final goal for Rangers Women FC in their thrilling 9-0 victory over Motherwell Women in the Scottish Women’s Premier League.

Coming on as a second-half substitute for Kirsty Howat, Bala Devi first made an impact in the 68th minute as she darted into the box and was brought down, giving Rangers Women a penalty.

Fellow substitute, 20-year-old Frenchwoman Daina Bourma stepped up to dispatch the penalty and give Rangers Women an eight-goal load.

Rangers Women continued to attack relentlessly and it paid off in the 85th minute.

Bala Devi, leading the line, found herself in a one-on-one with Motherwell goalkeeper Khym Ramsay and slotted in a low shot to score her first competitive goal for Rangers Women and create history for Indian football.

Cited as an inspiration for aspiring Indian women footballers by Indian football team captain Ashalata Devi, Bala Devi could make a case for a permanent starting berth on the Rangers Women team if she continues to deliver.

While Bala Devi added the finishing touches to an attacking masterclass, the stars of the evening for Rangers Women were Lizzie Arnot and Kirsty Howat, both of whom scored hat-tricks.

Megan Bell also got on the scoresheet for Rangers Women, for whom Australia star Sam Kerr also turned out.

The big win took Rangers Women to second in the Scottish Women’s Premier League with 15 points in six games. They are three points behind capital team Glasgow City, who are the only unbeaten team in the league this season.

Lead image: AIFF