इंडियन आवाज़     08 Dec 2023 06:25:44      انڈین آواز

Asian Football: Indian women’s team’s go down 0-1 to Thailand, bow of the competition and the Games

Harpal Singh Bedi    

Indian women’s football team muffed chances and went down 0-1 to Thailand for their second successive defeat and crashed out of the Asian Games at the Wenzhou Olympic Sports Centre Stadium in Hangzhou, China on Sunday.
    Parichat Thongrong (52’) scored the only goal in Thailand’s win.
 The defeat means the Indian women’s football team, 61st in the FIFA rankings, will finish third and last in the Group B standings. The Thomas Dennerby-managed squad who lost 1-2 to Chinese Taipei in their opening match, needed to win against Thailand to keep its knockout hopes alive.
 India, playing with an unchanged XI from the previous match, got off to a tentative start. Thailand, meanwhile, dominated the possession and drove into the rival half in search of an early goal.
As the match progressed, though, the Indians slowly got into the game and started creating chances. The forwards, including Anju Tamang and the veteran Bala Devi, however, lacked the finesse to convert them.
At the other end, Thailand kept making inroads into the Indian half and created a few scoring opportunities. Custodian Shreya Hooda came to the rescue with some important saves.
 India had a golden opportunity to open the scoring in the dying minutes of the first half but failed to make it count. Bala Devi played a cross to Manisha Kalyan on the left but the winger hit it straight to the Thai keeper Sornpao Tiffany.
  After the change of ends, Thailand struck through midfielder Panyosuk Nipawan who found herself in empty space and sent in a cross to Parichat Thongrong. The left-back drilled it past the diving custodian Shreya to make it 1-0 for Thailand.  
  India had an opportunity to equalise minutes later but Manisha Kalyan hit it straight at the Thai goalkeeper. Anju Tamang managed to beat the opposition custodian around the 66-minute mark but was flagged offside.
  Minutes later, Manisha Kalyan’s pass took a deflection and veered goalwards but the alert Thai keeper just about stopped the ball from crossing the line. As the match progressed, India threw caution to the wind in search of an equaliser and created some good chances but the Indian forwards lacked the precision to convert them.
The Indians desperately tried everything at the opponents in search of an equalizer, but Thailand held on to eke out a narrow win.

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