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Manisha Kalyan strike helps Indian women beat Jordan in international football friendly

This was India’s second straight victory, having downed Egypt by a similar 1-0 margin earlier this week.

The Indian women’s football team earned its second straight win in Jordan, after beating the hosts 1-0 in a friendly at the Prince Mohammed Stadium in Zarqa, on Friday.

Forward Manisha Kalyan was the star of the night, as her goal in the second-half proved to be the difference between the two football teams on the night. Earlier this week, India had defeated Egypt by the same margin at the same venue.

Both India and Jordan looked to get on the front foot from the start, creating chances near the opposition area.

India, the world No. 59 in FIFA rankings, won the first corner of the match, which was sent in by Ratanbala Devi and was headed goalwards by Manisha. However, the chance was cleared and Jordan mounted their own attack at the other end.

India goalkeeper Aditi Chauhan, however, was up to the task as she made the save, keeping the scores level. Chauhan was again called into action a few minutes later, when she calmly collected a shot off a Jordan free-kick.

As the game progressed, the Blue Tigresses started gaining control of the midfield. A couple of efforts by Anju Tamang and Manisha were thwarted by the Jordan defence around the half-hour mark.

With around five minutes of regulation time left in the first-half, Manisha went on one of her mazy runs, eventually earning a free-kick in a dangerous position. The eventual effort by defender Dalima Chhibber went over the crossbar.

India earned another free-kick, this time, a little closer to the box, with just seconds left on the clock for the first half. It was Manisha who tried her luck this time, but her attempted curler went inches wide.

After a goalless first-half, India head coach Thomas Dennerby brought on striker Pyari Xaxa in place of winger Sandhiya Ranganathan to try and inject some pace in the game.

Moments after the restart, India finally took the lead as Manisha found some space on the left and unleashed a left-footer that rocketed into the top corner of the Jordan goal.

A goal down, Jordan, placed four places behind India in the rankings, began to mount some pressure on the visitors. Leen Yasin Mohammad had a golden opportunity to draw level when she was played in behind the Indian defence and tried to chip Chauhan, but the ball went well over.

Indian centre backs Sweety Devi and Ashalata Devi make some crucial last-ditch tackles to thwart advances by the Jordanian attackers. Sweety’s interception stopped Shahanaz Jebreen in her tracks, while Ashalata’s tackle halted Leen Yasin’s attempt just beyond the hour mark.

India had a good opportunity to double their lead on the 72nd minute, when Anju Tamang swung in a corner that was flicked on at the near post by Manisha, but the ball went just wide of the post.

With less than 10 minutes of regulation time left in the match, Dennerby made the second change of the match, as Karthika Angamuthu replaced Ratanbala Devi in midfield.

As the clock wore down, Anju Tamang created a couple of chances. On the first instance, she looked to thread a through ball to Pyari Xaxa behind the opposition defence, but the latter clattered into a couple of Jordanian bodies, including goalkeeper Anfal Nayeef Hammad. As all three went to the ground; a free-kick was awarded to Jordan.

With just about a minute of injury time left on the clock, Tamang broke on the counter again and sent in a cross to Pyari inside the box but she was flagged offside.

The match ended 1-0 in favour of India

Photo : olympics.com

Website : olympics.com