India’s Under-17 women’s football team suffered a humiliating 0-7 defeat against Italy in the opening match of a four-nation tournament at Grandisco D’lsonzo stadium. The Thomas Dennerby-coached side started off the match by trying to press the opposition high up the pitch and entice mistakes from them.

Tackles were flying in from both sides and it was Italy, who were awarded a free-kick in the fourth minute. Beatrice curled the free-kick but she narrowly missed the target. Italy almost took the lead in the 10th minute as Dragoni had just Indian goalkeeper Monalisa to beat but the latter stretched and produced a wonderful save to deny the Italian.

However, India’s resistance soon lay in tatters as just one minute later, Maria Rossi put the ball into the back of the net. In the 22nd minute, Monalisa was again called into action by Dragoni, but the former again parried the ball out for a corner.

India came the closest to scoring on the half-hour mark when Anita tried a long-range effort to catch the Italian defence off-guard but her shot missed the target by a whisker. The floodgates opened after that as Anna Longobardi and Giulla Dragoni scored in the 31st and 33rd minutes, respectively, to give the Italians some much-needed cushion.

In the 36th minute, Kajol missed the target by a whisker as India trailed Italy by a 0-3 margin at the half-time break. Italy picked up right from where they left off in the first half as Manuela Sciabica scored in the 48th minute. Couple of quick-fire goals followed after that and within 15 minutes of the second half, Italy had extended their lead to six goals.

Dennerby made some changes in the 60th minute as Neha, Rejiya, Babina and Pinku came on for Nitu, Lynda, Kajol and Shelja, respectively. Marta Zambomi scored the final goal of the game in the 67th minute as she stretched Italy’s lead to 7 goals.

On an exposure tour, the Indian team will compete in two tournaments to gear up for the U-17 women’s World Cup in India during October-November.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *