Indian women go down 0-1 to Sweden in 3-nations U23 football event

STOCKHOLM,  June 23:  A spirited show by the Indian women’s football team went in vain as an injury-time goal helped Sweden post a 1-0 win in the three-nation U23 tournament at the Angelholm Athletics Stadium here.

             Mid-fielder Linn Vickius scored the solitary 96th minute goal to help the Swedes earn the victory on Wednesday night.

             India dominated the proceedings right from the get-go and earned themselves a flurry of goal scoring opportunities.

             The first big chance arrived for India into the 12th minute of the match when midfielder Manisha Kalyan tried to draw the first blood after receiving a ball from her teammate Martina Thokchom. However, it didn’t result in a goal after the ball went straight into the keeper’s hands.

             Manisha got an opportunity to score again when, in the 35th minute, she went in for an attempt once again, but the attack was thwarted by the Swedish defenders.

             The Swedish goalkeeper Emma Holmgren was perhaps the busiest athlete in the field in the first half, as the Indians got yet another chance in the 40th minute, but the former saved it with ease.

             On the other side of the field, the Indian goalkeeper Aditi Chauhan was also vigilant in the face of a few attacking moves by the opponent.

             While the first half resulted in stalemate despite a brand of tactical football by both sides, the second half kicked off with Sweden mounting several attacks, but the Indians smartly defended to maintain parity.

             India earned themselves the best chance to take a lead when striker Pyari Xaxa missed her target by a whisker in the 73rd minute.

             However, when it looked certain that the game was heading towards a draw, Vickius scored the all-important goal for Sweden off a corner from midfielder Ebba Hed, and earned her side the victory.

             India will take on the USA in their next game on June 25. (PTI)