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Indian Women’s Team lose lead and match against Ukraine

Indian Women's national team. (Photo courtesy: AIFF Media)
Indian Women's national team. (Photo courtesy: AIFF Media)

The Indian Women’s Team went down fighting against Ukraine in Alanya, Turkey, on Tuesday (February 23, 2021) to round off their tour of Turkey.

India had garnered an early two-goal lead in the first half, aided by goals from Pyari Xaxa and Manisha, only to see Ukraine mount a late comeback to snatch the victory, thanks to a hat-trick by striker Daria Apanashchenko.

It was a frantic start to the game as India mounted frequent attacks from the beginning. Manisha got an early look-in on the Ukraine goal but her shot from the edge of the box went over the bar around the quarter-hour mark.

India took the early lead a few minutes later as a cross by Indumathi Kathiresan from the right found its way to Pyari Xaxa amidst a melee of legs. The latter made no mistake, as she bundled the ball over the line.

Xaxa had the chance to double the lead around the half-hour mark when she was played through on goal and placed her shot past the keeper, before a Ukraine defender turned it into her own goal. However, Xaxa was flagged offside by the match officials and her effort was ruled out.

Manisha doubled India’s lead a few minutes later, though, as she produced a cool finish past the Ukrainian keeper after being played through behind the defence via an aerial through-ball from captain Sangita Basfore.

Minutes before the half-time whistle, Ukraine forward Daria Apanashchenko nodded in a cross from the left to pull one back for her side as the teams headed back into the dressing rooms for the breather.

It was a much tighter affair in the second half, as both the sides jostled for control of the game. Ukraine were soon awarded a penalty for an infringement inside the Indian penalty box, and Apanashchenko converted again, to level the scores at 2-2.

Deep into added time, Ukraine managed to find the winner, when Apanashchenko ran onto a back-heel inside the Indian box to chip it over goalkeeper Linthoingambi.

(AIFF Media)