Late goal by Sweden U-23 breaks India women's team's resilience

The Sweden goal late in the second half came from a goalkeeping error. (Image Courtesy: AIFF)
The Sweden goal late in the second half came from a goalkeeping error. (Image Courtesy: AIFF)

The Indian senior women's national team suffered a 0-1 defeat at the hands of host nation Sweden after conceding through a goalkeeping error in the 98th minute to end up on the losing side on Wednesday.

This was India's first international outing since playing Egypt (1-0 win) and Jordan (0-1 loss) in the first half of April. As Suren Chhetri's side tried to find their groove, Sweden dominated the proceedings right from the get-go. The Blue Tigresses were more than happy to sit back and defend their goal in the early exchanges.

However, Manisha Kalyan, who was hovering on the left flank, received a long ball from Martina Thokchom from deep and created a chance for India against the run of play. The young forward made a darting run into the opposition box, however, her shot from an acute angle was stopped by 'keeper Emma Holmgren.

But Sweden continued to dominate as goalie Aditi Chauhan was forced into a couple of regulation saves. Hannah Lundkvist made a curling attempt in the 30th minute but her shot flew wide of the target.

Minutes later, Dangmei Grace got involved in India's attacking play as she made a powerful run from the left flank before laying the ball to Manisha. However, before the 20-year-old could pull the trigger, the Swedish defenders cleared the ball.

Anju Tamang had one final tame effort before the referee blew the whistle for the half-time break.

Aditi Chauhan's error late in the second-half sinks Indian hearts

After the break, the Swedes came out roaring as they pinned back the visitors. Aditi Chauhan made a staple save in the 50th minute from an Alva Selerud header. Youngster Priyangka Devi, who started in the striker position for the Blue Tigresses, and Renu were replaced by Pyari Xaxa and Ratanbala Devi.

Chhetri's side had seemingly lost their sting in the attacking department as the minutes rolled by. Sweden continue to put pressure on the visitors. Nellie Lilja's long-range effort in the 70th minute flew high without troubling the 'keeper. The hosts continued to string together chances but failed to convert them.

FULL-TIME in Sweden! An end to end affair between both teams but Sweden get the lead from a solitary goal at the end! SWE 1-0 IND ๐Ÿ“บ โš”๏ธ #BackTheBlue ๐Ÿ’™ #BlueTigresses ๐Ÿฏ #ShePower ๐Ÿ‘ง #IndianFootball โšฝ

Five extra minutes were added on after regulation time. However, the game rolled past it into the 98th minute, when the Swedes won a corner. Aditi, who had been the player of the match until then, failed to grab the ball and it rolled over the goalline amidst a sea of bodies. A goalkeeping howler had sunk the Indians at the very end of the game.

But with a quick fixture turnaround, the Blue Tigresses will have an opportunity to bounce back in their next game against the United States Under-23 side on June 25.

Indian U-17 Women's team hammered 7-0 by Italy U-17 side

Meanwhile, the Indian women's U-17 side, who will represent the country in the upcoming FIFA World Cup, suffered a 7-0 drubbing at the hands of Italy in their first match of the 6th Torneo Female Football Tournament.

FULL-TIME!!! A disappointing result but onto the next one for the Young Tigresses ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ#ITAIND โš”๏ธ #BackTheBlue ๐Ÿ’™ #ShePower ๐Ÿ‘ง #IndianFootball โšฝ

The Young Tigresses looked toothless against the host nation through most of the game. The Italians opened the scoring in the 11th minute through Maria Rossi and continued to pile on India's misery through the rest of the game. Anna Longobardi and Giulla Dragoni added two more before the half-time whistle.

Even after the break, Italy were ruthless and kept on extending their lead over Thomas Dennerby's side.

The U-17 side will next take on the Netherlands on June 26.

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Edited by S Chowdhury
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