The Indian women’s football team failed to overturn a two-goal deficit as it went down 0-2 to Myanmar in its first group ‘D’ encounter of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup (Qualifiers) here.
Myanmar rode on its two first half goals from Naw Phaw and Khin Moe Wai in the 5th and 26th minutes, respectively to beat India comfortably at the Faisal Al Husseini stadium here.
Myanmar came close to scoring another goal in the 27th minute but Yee Yee Oo’s effort hit the woodwork.
Even before India could settle down and get a feel of the artificial turf, Myanmar surged ahead.
The Indian women could not recover from the early shock in the first half. They put up a valiant effort in the second half, playing an attacking game but could not convert opportunities into goals.
Receiving a cross from winger Khin Moe Wai, the Myanmar forward, Naw Phaw did well to escape her marker and place her shot into the roof of the net to give her team early lead.
India had a golden opportunity to score an equaliser but striker Bala Devi failed to capitalise on a pass from former India captain Oinam Bembem Devi on top of the box in the 22nd minute. The striker from Manipur failed to connect.
Just when India seemed to have found its rhythm, which helped it do a double against Bahrain a week ago in two friendlies, Myanmar doubled the lead cashing in on the counter.
Moe Wai converted Than Than Htwe’s spadework from close range and it was 2-0 at halftime.
The Indian team shrugged off the burr under its saddle post the breather and looked more at ease on the artificial turf. It attacked with renewed vigour.
In the opening exchanges in the second half, Myanmar, playing a high line in the first half, was forced to drop deep as the likes of Bembem Devi and Kamala Devi made frequent inroads into the final third.
Myanmar attacked in phases, mostly attempting to increase the cushion from set pieces. It was literally defending in numbers switching from the initial 4-4-2 formation to a defensive 5-4-1.
India will next play Chinese Taipei.
In the first match of the tournament, Chinese Taipei blanked hosts Palestine 6-0 in the Group’s curtain-raiser.
Midfielder Lin Ya Han notched up a hat-trick, while Lin Kai Lin, Lai Li Chin and and Yu Hsiu Chin netted one each.
Keywords: AFC Women’s Asian Cup