The Indian U-17 Women’s Team went down to fellow debutants Morocco 0-3 in their second match of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneshwar on Friday.
All the goals came in the second session. The game started with Morocco making the initial attacks, while India slowly made some efforts to grow into the game.
The first serious attempt at the goal came in the second minute when Morocco’s Samya Masnaoui made a rather tame effort, which was cleared by the Indian defence.
Masnaoui tried a curler in the next minute but it went directly at goalkeeper Melody Keisham, who gathered it comfortably.
The first major attempt from the hosts came in the seventh minute when a faulty pass from the Moroccan backline was collected by Nitu, but her cross was blocked off for a corner.
Two minutes later, Nitu was fouled and Neha took the free kick only to find her fine cross go begging as none among the Indian attackers could avail the opportunity.
The best attempt of the half came in the 18th minute when the Indian custodian Keisham failed to gather the ball cleanly but Yasmine Zouhir’s shot hit the crossbar. Despite facing some pressure, the Indian girls did a good job in the middle and managed to keep their opponents at bay in the first half.
The Morocco girls were certainly more physical than the hosts and Hajar Said received a yellow card in the 22nd minute for a high boot offence on Naketa. India’s Shilky Hemam also entered the referee’s book as she committed a foul in the 40th minute.
Naketa, however, did a brilliant job when her goalline saves denied Morocco from taking the lead at the stroke of halftime. Four minutes into the second half, India conceded a penalty as Naketa handled the ball and it was calmly converted by Doha El Madani.
Four minutes later, Anita Kumari tried a header but it was cleared by the Moroccan defence. Nine minutes later India conceded the second goal when Keisham fumbled with a cross by Masnaoui and it was converted by Zouhir.
Keisham, however, redeemed herself in the 65th minute as she made a fine save to deny Morocco another goal. The referee showed Masnaoui a yellow card in the 70th minute for a foul and the resultant free-kick taken by Naketa went wide.
India finally made a shot on target as Anita was set up on a goal by the substitute Lynda but her attempt was saved by Wissal Titah with some fine goalkeeping. Morocco scored the third and final goal through Djennah Cherif’s emphatic finish in the final minutes of the game.
The game ended with Keisham making another great save in the final minute. India, who lost their first group league match against the United States, will now meet Brazil on Monday, 17th October 2022.
INDIA XI: Melody Keisham (GK), Naketa, Shilky Devi (Shailja 65′), Astam Oraon (C), Babina Lisham, Neha (Lynda Kom 65′), Kajol Dsouza (Sudha Tirkey 46′), Anita Kumari, Shubhangi Singh, Nitu Linda (Rejiya 76′), Kajal.