In their final AFC U-17 Women’s Asian Cup Qualifiers Round 1 matchup against Myanmar, the Indian U17 Women’s National Team experienced some nervous moments in the final 15 minutes before winning 2-1.
With this win, India moved up from Group F to the tournament’s Round 2 in September of this year. India finished with six points in the three-team group after winning both of its games against the Kyrgyz Republic and Myanmar. Ya Min Phyu’s goal in the 75th minute gave Myanmar a chance to mount a comeback after Sulanjana and Pooja had given India a 2-0 lead by the 33rd minute. The final 15 minutes of the match turned out to be stressful as Myanmar made a strong effort to equalise, but the Indian defenders stayed strong to repel the opposition attackers.
During this period, Myanmar, looking for the elusive goal, turned physical at times, and two of their players, Yu Yu Naing and Ya Min Phyu, were given marching orders by the referee for some off-the-ball fouls, leaving them with nine players on the pitch in the last few minutes.
It was Sulanjana who gave India the lead in the 26th minute after Sonibia Devi’s attempt was saved by Myanmar goalkeeper Thu Zar Aung, but the rebound fell perfectly for Sulanjana to send it home with all the time in the world.
India doubled the lead seven minutes later on a counter-attack when Sibani Devi raced from the right to square the ball for Pooja to tap it in. Ya Min Phyu managed to pull one back for Myanmar in the 75th minute from a free-kick; a momentary lapse by Indian custodian Anisha Oraon contributed to the goal to some extent.
The Young Tigresses started the game on a positive note. The Indian girls looked strong from the beginning as the attacking trio of Menaka Devi, Sulanjana Raul, and Pooja combined well to wreak havoc in the rival area and open the defence time and again. That Myanmar conceded two goals in a span of seven minutes spoke volumes about the dominance of the Young Tigresses.