By Joseph Solomon,
AIFF Media Team
THIMPHU (BHUTAN): The Indian U-18 Women’s National Team lost 3-1 on penalties against Nepal after the full-time scoreline read 1-1 in the semi-finals of the SAFF U-18 Championship at the Changlimithang Stadium in Thimphu, Bhutan today (October 05, 2018) as Jabamani Tudu’s header in the 62nd minute cancelled out Rasmi Kumari’s 15th minute strike for Nepal.
Although India dominated possession in the early minutes of the match, it was Nepal that had the better of the Indian eves. A goal on the 15th minute by Rasmi Kumari gave Nepal a solitary goal lead after Rasmi had rounded the oncoming Indian custodian and scored past her.
Determined to score the equaliser, the Indian girls rallied and kept attacking the Nepalese defence, although chances came in few, complacency in front of goal amounted to nothing as Nepal survived waves of Indian attacks.
Indian forwards Bawitlung and Maharabam troubled the Nepalese defence, but chances failed to find the back of the net. On the other end, the Indian defence almost scored an own goal in the 36th minute when Pakpi Devi fluffed her clearance and her attempt went inches past the Indian goal.
Nepal led by a solitary goal to nil at half-time.
Changing over, the Indian eves upped their tempo and in the 46th minute Devneta Roy had a chance to bring India to level terms, but she failed to tap it in from close range after Soumya had found her in the box.
India had an excellent opportunity to level proceedings in the 53rd minute when Devneta Roy rounded the Nepalese custodian but failed to find the back of an empty net, as her shot hit the post.
In the 62nd minute, India equalised after Jabamani Tudu’s thumping header off a free-kick found the back of the Nepalese net to make the scoreline read 1-1.
Roja Devi’s shot from distance in the 75th minute was kept out by the Nepalese goalkeeper and two minutes later, the Indian custodian made a good save to deny Nepal from close range.
The full-time scoreline read 1-1 as there was no separation between the two teams after ninety minutes. In extra time, despite dominating possession, India could not cajole clear goal scoring chances and the Nepalese defence kept the Indian forwards at bay. Goalkeeper Archana made some good saves to deny Nepal as even after 120 minutes of play the scorelines remained tied at 1-1.
In the penalty shootout that followed, Nepal emerged victors edging India 3-1.
India’s starting XI against Nepal: Archana Arumugam (GK); Kanchan Chanu, Manisha, Pakpi Devi, Devneta Roy, Roja Devi; Jabamani Tudu (C), Samiksha, Maharabam Thahenbi, Soumya Guguloth, Bawitlung.
Posted on : Friday October 05, 2018