Mumbai: The Indian U-17 women's football team went down 3-0 against Sweden in the opening match of the U-17 Women's Football Tournament 2019 at the Mumbai Football Arena on Friday. Sweden scored twice in the first half and once in the second as they ran away as the victors.
The U-17 Women's Tournament is taking place from December 13 to December 19 with three teams - India, Sweden and Thailand. India next play Thailand on Monday while Sweden and Thailand will face off on Sunday.
India were pegged behind in the match after just four minutes when Sweden were awarded an early penalty and Matilda Vinberg converted from the spot-kick with ease.
India, however, did not back down and created two chances in consecutive minutes. Lynda Kom charged down the left and took a shot from the edge of the box that was saved by the Swedish custodian in the 11th minute.
Moments later, Sunita Munda beat her marker down the right flank and put in a cross towards Sumati Kumari. However, a last-minute challenge meant the Swedish defence was able to clear the ball away.
The game became a midfield battle as both sides looked to pass their way past the opposition. India goalkeeper Manju Ganjhu showed good alertness and composure on two occasions, rushing outside the penalty area to clear the ball away.
In the 21st minute, Lynda broke through once again and registered a powerful effort that drew a good save from the Swedish keeper.
Manju made another save in the 24th minute but a minute later, Sweden doubled their advantage through Ida Weidenberg. The forward ran down the left flank with the ball and slotted it into the far corner.
The last chance of the first half fell to Sweden's Monica Bah, who was played in on goal in the 32nd minute. However, she was denied by Manju, who tipped the ball over the crossbar.
The second half began just as the first ended, with both teams battling it out in the midfield. India coach Thomas Dennerby rang in the changes as Jyoti Kumari, Purnima Linda, Sai Sankhe, Anisha Baxla, Aveka Singh and Mariyammal came on over the course of the second half.
The Indian defence, marshalled by skipper Shilky Devi, cut off a number of Swedish attacks while Sumati Kumari posed danger for the opposition on a number of occasions, breaking past the backline. In the 70th minute, she charged into the box down the left but her cut-back towards Sai was not finished.
Five minutes later, she slipped through on goal yet again but her shot from inside the penalty area went narrowly wide.
As the match drew to a close, Sweden scored in stoppage time through Monica Bah to make it three and comfortably picked up the three points.