The Indian senior women's football team suffered a 1-2 loss against hosts Jordan in the first of two friendlies at the Petra Stadium in Amman on Sunday. These matches are being held as part of India's preparations for the Women's Olympic Football Tournament 2024 Asian Qualifiers Round 1 in the Kyrgyz Republic next month.
The hosts began the proceedings in red-hot style, racing to a two-goal lead within the opening quarter of an hour.
Indian centre-back Ritu Rani was unfortunate to turn in a pass from a Jordanian shirt into the Indian net for an own goal. India head coach Thomas Dennerby's decision to line up with five defenders - Sweety, Ritu and Ashalata in the middle, with Ranjana and Dalima as fullbacks - did have an impact, but failed to stop the home team from scoring.
Missing the duo of Manisha Kalyan and Soumya Guguloth due to their club commitments in Europe, India head coach Thomas Dennerby had limited options in attack. In the second half, Renu, Karishma Shirvoikar and Apurna Narzary came on, and India began to assert themselves in the final third.
Renu pulled one back 16 minutes from time, applying the finishing touch on a brilliant team move from the Blue Tigresses. Ritu picked out Anju Tamang with a forward pass. The midfielder then dribbled into the penalty area and squared the ball for Renu, who tapped it in with ease at the near post.
However, the goal ended up as a mere consolation for India, who will now look to bounce back in the second friendly against Jordan at the same venue on Wednesday, March 22, 2023.
India XI: Elangbam Panthoi Chanu, Dalima Chhibber, Ngangbam Sweety Devi, Ritu Rani, Loitongbam Ashalata Devi (Juli Kishan 90'), Sorokhaibam Ranjana Chanu (Apurna Narzary 68'), Anju Tamang, Karthika Angamuthu, Indumathi Kathiresan, Sandhiya Ranganathan (Renu 46'), Dangmei Grace (Karishma Shirvoikar 54'). (ANI)