The Indian women’s national team went down 1-5 to Uzbekistan in their first friendly match on Friday, August 30 at the Yakkasary Stadium in Tashkent. The Indian side created a flurry of chances and took the lead in the fifth minute but the hosts picked up the win in the end, scoring twice and thrice on either side of the break.
The first half began with a bang for India as Bala Devi found the back of the net as early as the fifth minute. Sanju Yadav played in a cross from the left that found Dangmei Grace, who played in Bala as she put the ball past the goalkeeper.
Coach Maymol Rocky’s side came close to doubling its lead almost immediately through Grace, whose shot from the edge of the penalty area was saved by the Uzbek goalie Laylo Tilovova.
As the match opened up, both sides created chances as Indian custodian Aditi Chauhan was forced into a sharp save 15 minutes into the match. On the other end, Bala saw her shot from close range stopped just two minutes later.
Grace was proving to be tough to deal with as she almost found the net in the 22nd minute and nearly created another from a corner.
At the half-hour mark though, Uzbekistan scored the equalizer through forward Lyudmila Karachik, who found the net in the 31st minute. The two teams headed into the break with the hosts in the lead as defender Maftuna Shoyimova scored in the 38th minute.
The second half began with India earning an early corner but went two goals behind in the 49th minute as Nilufar Kudratova added a third for Uzbekistan.
Three minutes prior to the hour mark, Sanju almost grabbed India’s second as her direct free-kick just went past the frame of the goal. However, in the 62nd minute, Uzbekistan added a fourth to extend the hosts’ lead and substitute Ugiloy Kuchkarova scored another eight minutes from time as the scoreline read 5-1 in favour of the hosts in the end.
The next match between the two teams will be played on Monday, September 2 and will kick off at 5.30pm IST at the same venue.
Aditi Chauhan – Sweety Devi, Jabamani Tudu, Ashalata Devi [C], Roja Devi – Sangita Basfore, Ratanbala Devi, Bala Devi – Sanju, Dangmei Grace, Sandhiya Ranganathan