The India women’s senior national team registered a 1-0 victory over Egypt on April 6 in the first friendly football match between the two teams, at the Prince Mohammed Stadium in Zarqa, Jordan.
The first half began with the Indian side pressing hard to seize the initiative. Captain Ashalata Devi tried to earn an early lead in the 18th minute via her shot from distance but Anju, who latched on to the ball, missed the chance.
A couple of minutes later, Manisha almost scored the first for the night through Dalima’s pass from the right but was collected by the Egyptian custodian.
Before the opposition could settle into the game, a sudden strike by Priyangka in the 30th minute gave India the early lead and remained the only goal of the match. Dalima managed to pass the ball to Priyangka through Manisha’s brilliant cross from the left and eventually, the young midfielder found the back of the net. The halftime score, therefore, read 1-0 in favour of India.
The second half was played out on similar lines with India creating more chances, as head coach Thomas Dennerby made his first change at the restart, replacing forward Renu with Pyari Xaxa.
Ten minutes after the resumption, Pyari came close to scoring in the 53rd minute as she got on the end of a cross from Manisha with an excellent run, but the shot was saved by the keeper.
A couple of more substitutions followed as Sandhiya came on in place of Anju Tamang, and Soumya and Ratanbala were introduced in place of Grace and Priyangka Devi respectively.
The prolific captain Engy Ahmed Sayed tried her luck from close range before the hour-mark, but Sowmiya stood tall to deny her confidently.
Hayam Abdellatif had the final effort for Egypt in the dying minutes of the game but her effort landed safely into Sowmiya’s gloves. The last change was made by Dennerby at the final minutes of the regulation time when Manisha was replaced by Mariyammal.
The match soon came to an end, and the Indian Women’s Team earned their first victory in Jordan.
INDIA XI: Sowmiya Narayanasamy (GK); Dalima Chhibber, Sweety Devi, Ashalata Devi (C), Dangmei Grace (Soumya Guguloth 72’), Manisha (Mariyammal 90+2’), Renu (Pyari Xaxa 45’), Anju Tamang (Sandhiya 55’), Priyangka Devi (Ratanbala Devi 72’), Sanju, Martina Thokchom.