New Delhi, Oct 23 (IANS) The India women’s team ended its tour of Europe as it went down to Swedish side Djurgarden IF by a lone goal in the second friendly fixture hosted in the Scandinavian country at the Stockholm Stadium on Saturday.
Djurgarden forward Fanny’s goal (45′) earned them a hard-fought victory against the Indian eves.
India coach Thomas Dennerby handed Shreya the gloves for this match. He started with a 4-3-3 line-up with Manisha and Dangmei Grace on the flanks to support Pyari at the heart of the attack, according to a report on the all-India Football Federation’s (AIFF) official website.
The move paid off as goalkeeper Shreya came up with an early save to deny the Swedish outfit, which could have opened the scoring as early as the third minute. Ten minutes later, Anju’s long-curling corner was met by Ashalata at the far post but the opposition goalkeeper made a well-timed save.
Shreya was in the thick of the action once again before the half-hour mark when she denied Engolo from scoring the opening goal. Sanju rolled it in for Grace but her effort was anticipated by goalkeeper Kelsey well in time.
At the end of the first half, Fanny scored the first goal, the eventual winning one, to hand them a crucial lead.
Dennerby made three changes during the break, throwing in Michel Castanha, Sumati Kumari, and Ranjana Chanu instead of Dalima Chhibber, Grace, and Astam Oraon, respectively.
The changes could have paid early dividends to India but Sumati’s cross missed the target by a whisker in the 63rd minute. Ranjana made another crucial save 15 minutes from the end of regulation time. Manisha made an audacious effort in the added time only to see the shot fly over the crossbar. One minute later, Indumathi’s free-kick could have been dealt better but Ranjana’s effort missed the target.
The referee brought the game to an end with Djurgarden taking the narrow win in India’s last match in Sweden. The squad will now return to India on October 25, before resuming its training for next year’s AFC Asian Cup at home.