Fri, 01 Dec 2023

Hangzhou [China], September 24 (ANI): India's hope for a medal with the women's football team ended as they bowed out following a 1-0 defeat against Thailand at the Wenzhou Olympic Sports Centre Stadium in Hangzhou on Sunday. Thailand won the game by a single goal scored by Parichat Thongrong (52'). The defeat means the Indian women's football team, 61st in the FIFA rankings, will finish third in the Group B standings. The Thomas Dennerby-managed Indian team, who lost 2-1 to Chinese Taipei in their opening match, needed to win against Thailand to keep its knockout hopes alive.

India playing with lineup from the previous game, got off to a shaky start. In the meantime, Thailand controlled the ball and advanced into the Indian half in an effortfirst goal.

As the match progressed, though, the Indian football team slowly got into the game and started creating chances. The Indian forwards, including Anju Tamang and the veteran Bala Devi, however, lacked the finesse to convert them.

At the other end, Thailand kept making inroads into the Indian half and created a few scoring opportunities. Indian custodian Shreya Hooda came to the rescue with some important saves.

India had a golden opportunity to open the scoring in the dying minutes of the first half but failed to make it count. Bala Devi played a cross to Manisha Kalyan on the left but the winger hit it straight to the Thai keeper Sornpao Tiffany. The first half ended goalless.

After the change of ends, Thailand struck. Thai midfielder Panyosuk Nipawan found herself in acres of space and sent in a cross to Parichat Thongrong. The left-back drilled it past the diving Indian custodian Shreya Hooda to make it 1-0 for Thailand.

India had an opportunity to equalise minutes later but Manisha Kalyan hit it straight at the Thai goalkeeper. Anju Tamang managed to beat the opposition custodian around the 66-minute mark but was flagged offside.

Minutes later, Manisha Kalyan's pass took a deflection and veered goalwards but the alert Thai keeper just about stopped the ball from crossing the line. As the match progressed, India threw caution to the wind in search of an equaliser and created some good chances but the Indian forwards lacked the precision to convert them.

The Indian women's football team threw everything at the opponents in search of an equaliser, but Thailand held on to eke out a narrow win. (ANI)

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