India U17 girls go down to Thailand in AFC Asian Cup qualifiers

India succumbed to their second defeat in as many matches in Group A of the AFC U17 Women’s Asian Cup Qualifiers Round 2, losing 0-3 to host Thailand, here on Thursday.

India succumbed to their second defeat in as many matches in Group A of the AFC U17 Women’s Asian Cup Qualifiers Round 2, losing 0-3 to host Thailand, here on Thursday.

The U-17 women had earlier suffered a similar fate at the hands of defending champions Korea Republic (0-8).

The hosts were on the front foot from the very start and took the lead just beyond the quarter hour mark through a penalty by captain Rinyaphat Moondong, after Madison Jade Casteen hit the woodwork.

It took Thailand just a couple of minutes more to double their lead, when they were awarded a free-kick from around 25 yards out. Julaiporn Jaimulwong smashed it with her laces and sent it into the top corner.

Casteen soon turned scorer herself, when Thailand were awarded yet another penalty in the 23rd minute, as she sent it to the right of Indian custodian Khushi Kumari.

India tightened their back line after that, and looked to hit the hosts on the counter, Pooja often acting as the focal point of their attacks. However, the Thailand defenders pushed forward to maintain a high line and catch Pooja offside on occasions.

Thailand came out with much of the same fervour in the second half, but the Young Tigresses managed to keep them at bay, taking extra care not to give away set-piece opportunities from close range.

It took around 20 minutes, and long ranger for Thailand to get their first goal of the second half and fourth overall, as Casteen pulled the trigger from around 20 yards out and placed the ball in the bottom corner, to score her second of the night.

Minutes later, Sulanjana Raul thought she was through on goal, when she ran on to a through ball from the left and had just the keeper to beat, with acres of real estate in front of her, but much to her disappointment, she was the assistant referee’s flag waved her offside.

Thailand mounted waves of attacks late in the match, but Indian defence prevented any further damage, as they remained at the bottom of the table, behind Iran, who they play on September 23.

(IANS)