INDIAN FOOTBALL

India U20 Women’s National Team kicks off campaign on HIGH NOTE,

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India U20 against Singapore U20 at the AFC U20 Women’s Asian Cup: On Tuesday, March 7, 2023, the India U-20 Women’s National Team trounced Singapore 7-0 at the Viet Tri Stadium in Viet Tri City. Vietnam, to kick off their AFC U-20 Women’s Asian Cup Qualifiers Round 1 campaign. Goals by Astam Oraon, Kajal Dsouza, and Sumati Kumari. As well as braces from Apurna Narzary and Anita Kumari, aided the process.

Maymol Rocky’s ladies came out firing and surged to a six-goal lead in less than 30 minutes. Sumati Kumari and Astam Oraon each scored once in the first half. While Apurna Narzary and Anita Kumari both scored twice. Kajol Dsouza scored a seventh goal late in the second half to round up the onslaught.

Apurna Narzary, India’s new captain, gave the team the lead in the seventh minute when she finished off a squared ball from Anita Kumari into an open net. Just three minutes later, Anita provided her second assist, putting in an inch-perfect cross from the right for Sumati to coolly head in from the outside of the six-yard box.

AFC U20 Women’s Asian Cup: INDIA

In the blink of an eye, it was three. When Anita and Nitu Linda’s shots were stopped, the loose ball went to Apurna, who took a touch before slotting it in. Anita then added to India’s tally, knocking in a low cross from Sumati on the left to make it four. Sumati kept wreaking havoc down the left flank, breaking away from her marker before unleashing another low cross. Astam Oraon, who had advanced from left back, guided it in.

India showed no signs of slowing down, scoring their sixth goal in the 31st minute. Apurna burst into the box and unselfishly cut the ball back for Anita. The winger scored her second goal of the day with a grounded effort through a jungle of red jerseys. During the half, head coach Maymol Rocky made two aggressive substitutions, with Lynda Kom Serto replacing Nitu Linda and Neha replacing Sumati Kumari.

ROUTING Singapore 7-0 to earn FULL POINTS

Singapore was more defensively organised following the restart, denying India much room down the centre. Nonetheless, the Young Tigresses continued to dominate possession and use the wings. Anita was inches away from getting on the end of Neha’s cross across the face of the goal.

Neha was also on set-piece duty. Her left-footed corner was wonderfully placed for Babina at the far post, but she couldn’t connect with the ball. India also had a couple long-range misses, with attempts from Kajol Dsouza and Astam going wide.

Substitutes Neha and Lynda had excellent dribbling abilities but were thwarted by strong Singaporean defence. Neha outpaced two defenders on the left before being denied by a red shirt. Lynda attempted the same on the right, but Nur Izairida Shakira saved her right-footed try. Ten minutes from time, the Singapore goalkeeper was called upon again to save a thunderous shot from Mousumi Murmu, who was making her international debut for India.

In the final minute of normal time, India scored seven goals. The Young Tigresses earned a decisive victory as midfielder Kajol met a powerful cross from left fielder Neha and finished it off with a powerful header. India will play Indonesia on Thursday, March 9, before facing hosts Vietnam on Saturday. The group winner will advance to Round 2 of the qualifications, which will be place in June.

Anshika, Purnima Kumari, Linda Chanu, Astam Oraon, Martina Thokchom (Lisham Babina Devi 23′), Kajol Dsouza, Sumati Kumari (Neha 46′), Anita Kumari, Shubhangi Singh, Nitu Linda (Lynda Kom Serto 46′), Apurna Narzary (Mousumi Murmu 70′).

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