Mumbai: India U-17 women’s team on Tuesday defeated Thailand by 1-0 in the second game of the Women’s Football Tournament at the Mumbai Football Arena here.
With this win, India qualified for the finals and will now take on Sweden in the summit clash on December 19.
Thounaojam Kritina scored for India in the injury time to sent Thailand out of the tournament.
India started off well with Astam Oraon and Thokchom Martina dominating the game from the middle of the park.
The Indian trio of Lynda Kom, Sunita Munda and Sumati Kumari made entries into the opposition defence creating a lot of problems for Thailand.
Sumati, especially, put a lot of pressure from the left flank, often running rings around the defenders, to send in dangerous crosses or cut-backs. However, the chances could not be capitalised upon.
Soon, however, Thailand started to grow in the game and dominated possession.
However, defenders Shilky Devi and Jyoti Kumari were up to the task, thwarting the dangerous chances by the away side.
The two sides came out with more fervour after the change of ends, and Thailand soon had the best chance so far, when Janista Jinantuya was released through on goal. However, Indian custodian Manju came off her line and stuck her hand out to palm away a shot from close range.
With around a quarter of an hour to go, Thailand captain Pluemjai Sontisawat went through on goal, but was tackled, as the ball fell to Jinantuya.
However, Jyoti got in between the attacker and the ball, and soon drew a foul to diffuse the situation.
Thailand had the perfect opportunity to take the lead with about 10 minutes to go, when a swift counter-attack saw India outnumbered three-to-one in defence. However, both Jinantuya and Sontisawat, who were unmarked inside the box, could not put away a cross from the left.
Thawanrat Promthongmee had a good chance from a close-range free-kick as the match wore to a close. Jinantuya got on the rebound, but her shot thudded off the woodwork.
Substitute Kritina Devi stole the show in the end, as her long-ranger was fumbled on the line by Thailand keeper Pawarisa Homyamyen, giving India the match-winning lead in added time. (ANI)