The Indian women’s football team suffered a 1-2 defeat at the AGMK Stadium on Thursday at the hands of Belarus. However, both sides won the first half as well, while Pilipenka Hannah doubled their lead before Belarus took the lead through Shupo Nastasia’s penalty. Meanwhile, India’s Sangeeta Basar made a deep comeback at a time. After a good performance against Uzbekistan, India started with a high tempo in the first half, and took the lead within about three minutes, when Soumya Guguloth’s shot from outside the box hit the Belarus cross-bar. Striker Pyari Xaxa did manage to get his head on the rebound, but his effort failed on goal and was out of the game.
Anju Tamang, playing in a perfectly perfect position, often looked lively, taking an edge in the opposing field. Not only did he help in the attack, but Anju also got back on track to make some key blocks and effect some changes in possession.
Around the half-hour mark, Manisha punched a pair of defenders and made her way into opposition territory, before going under some attention by the Belarus defenders. However, the referee waved the game.
Minutes later, Belarus had a great chance to score, when midfielder Pilipenka Hanna was played through the goal. He slid his shot in front of the keeper, but India’s defender Ranjana Chanu did well to keep the danger in check.
India’s head coach Maymol Rocky gave veteran defender Ashalata Devi a run to end the first half, leaving Soumya in his place as both players reached the level of the dressing room on the scoreboard.
Belarus caught the initiative after the change, as they managed to work the ball into the Indian net, but the referee soon rang his whistle, indicating that one of his attackers was in an offside position during the buildup.
However, India soon began to settle in the second half as well. A minute before the hour mark, Manisha Kalyan surged the left flank to enter the opposing field and send in a low cross. However, it developed striker Pieri Xaxa, who tried in vain to get a crucial touch on the ball.
However, Belarus were later punished after a foul by one of their attackers fouled inside the Indian box. Nastasia bowled the ball to the left of Aditi Chauhan, who dived in the right direction, but the ball was out of her reach.
Belarus doubled their advantage 10 minutes later when Pilipenka Hanna was played in the Indian penalty box, and he squeezed his shot between the keeper and the nearby post; The ball bounced straight up and went inside.
India were determined to get back into the game after that, and Indumati immediately pierced Manisha through the ball. The latter pulled the trigger after walking into the Belarus box, but his attempt survived.
With about five minutes of regulation time remaining on the clock, India won the free-kick close to the Belarus region. Sangeeta Basaros stood above the dead ball, and put her laces through it, but her effort went inches wide.
In extra time Basar got one back, as he pulled the trigger from about 30 yards away. The Belarus keeper managed to get a glove on him, but Sangeeta’s shot packed too much of a punch, as the ball deflected the keeper’s glove into the net.
However, there was not much time left for the comeback, as the referee soon ended the game.
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