Indian women’s football team lost 1-2 to Belarus in an international friendly in Olmaliq on Thursday to suffer their second defeat on the Uzbekistan tour.
Goals from Shuppo Nastassia from the penalty spot and Pilipenka Hanna gave the European side a 2-0 lead in the second half before Sangita Basfore pulled one back deep in stoppage time for Maymol Rocky’s side.
Indians started the game brightly and almost took the lead in the fifth minute when Soumya Guguloth’s long-range effort thundered against the crossbar.
However, the Indians’ dominance waned as the first half progressed, allowing Belarus to take control.
In the 17th minute, Ranjana made a goalmouth clearance to deny Belarus the lead. There was more last-ditch defending in store for the Indians as Anju Tamang put in a crucial block when Belarus seemed destined to score.
Belarus dominated possession for the rest of the first half but India resisted well and did not concede too many chances.
In the second half, India played a lot more on the front foot but it left spaces behind the defence for Belarus to exploit. Belarus came close in the 50th minute when they had the ball in the back of the net but it was adjudged to be offside.
Despite improving in attack, India didn’t seem to pay a lot of heed to the problems at the back as Belarus once again breached the back four forcing India to concede a penalty.
Aditi Chauhan guessed the right way but Nastassia managed to beat her with a precise spot-kick and give the Europeans the lead in the 66th minute.
Chasing the equaliser, India left more gaps open for Belarus counter-attacks and they doubled their lead ten minutes later when Hanna finished past Chauhan, latching onto a through ball.
India’s attempt to reduce the deficit didn’t bear fruit until the fourth minute of stoppage time when Sangita’s long-range attempt was spilled by the goalkeeper.
It was nothing more than a consolation as the referee blew the whistle for full time almost immediately after it.
India ended the Uzbekistan tour without a win and remain winless in 2021 but coach Maymol Rocky will take plenty of positives from the two performances which were delivered despite the team missing key players like Bala Devi. India had earlier lost 1-0 against Uzbekistan, courtesy a late free kick.