THE INDIAN WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM showed sparks of promise against the 24th ranked Ukraine side at today's international friendly, before going down 3-2 amidst a late surge from their opponents.
Catch the whole match right here courtesy Evima Football.
Although Ukraine dominated proceedings in the early minutes, India soon turned the tide. A vocal Maymol Rocky directed the team from the sidelines as the Blue Tigresses built repeated attacks, until a long ranger off a throw in by Indumathi caught the opponent defenders by surprise and rolled into the net. Boosted by the lead, India increased the intensity of their offensive moves.
The second goal came when Manisha sprinted up the left wing, swinging in another long ranger from a difficult angle.
India were almost cruising through the game with a 2-0 lead but just before the half-time Ukraine asserted their intentions when they earned a penalty and converted it, with Indian keeper Maibam Linthoingambi Devi falling just short despite guessing the right direction of the spot kick.
In the second half the action was pushed by Ukraine, with the long layoff that the Indian players had faced due to COVID-19 slowing them down. In the added time, the scoreline was 2-2, but just before the game ended Ukraine managed to score their third to ensure victory.
This match concluded India's exposure tour in Turkey where they played three matches; one unofficial friendly and two FIFA international friendlies. All of them were losses but today's performance is by far the best of the lot. Getting a draw with the 24th ranked Ukraine would have given India's FIFA ranking a boost, but the first half performance remains a positive takeaway for Maymol Rocky and her girls nonetheless.