Indian women’s U-19 football team beats Thailand but fails to advance
Grace Lalrampari scored the lone goal in the 36th minute to put India on level points with both Thailand and Nepal. But, India could not make it to the Round 2 of the Qualifiers courtesy their head-to-head result against Nepal.football Updated: Oct 28, 2018 21:53 IST
The Indian women’s team registered a 1-0 upset win over Thailand but failed to advance to the next round of the AFC U-19 Championship Qualifiers here on Sunday.
Grace Lalrampari scored the lone goal in the 36th minute to put India on level points with both Thailand and Nepal. But, India could not make it to the Round 2 of the Qualifiers courtesy their head-to-head result against Nepal.
When the goal difference of these three teams were counted, Thailand secured the top spot with a plus 2, while India and Nepal were tied at minus 1. Due to this, the head-to-head result between India and Nepal came into play again, and the Himalayan nation went through.
Although Thailand dominated possession, the Indian players worked hard to close down the gaps in the middle of the park.
The tactic almost paid off in the third minute, when Roja stole the ball on the left flank and played a give-and-go with Renu, before pulling the trigger from the edge of the area. However, her shot was weak and rolled wide of the goal.
India suffered a setback on the 12th minute when Pakpi injured herself and had to be stretchered off. She was replaced by Sanathokpi Devi in the right fullback position.
Around the half-hour mark, Thailand started to get better control of the game, using the flanks well to put crosses across the Indian goal. However, India managed to negotiate these attacks.
India’s dream moment came in the 36th minute, when Manisha powered her way down the left flank and sent in an inch-perfect cross for Grace to tap it in. India soon had another good chance around the half-time mark. Renu hustled her way past two defenders to create a one-on-one chance out of a clearance from Sanathokpi. However, her low shot was saved by Thai keeper Ponpimon.
The match continued much in the same vein in the second half, as India closed down the gaps, not allowing Thailand much space in the attacking third. The home side’s first real chance in the second half came in the 69th minute, when Chatchawan made a wonderful run and sent in a low cross. However, Ratchaphan’s shot went over the bar.
The pacey winger troubled the Indian defence a lot in the closing exchanges, as she broke into the box twice in quick succession. On the first occasion, her shot went wide, while in the second instance, it was saved by goalie Archana.
In the end, however, India held on to the slender lead, with Archana making a couple of frantic saves.
First Published: Oct 28, 2018 21:53 IST