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AFC Olympic Qualifiers: Indian Women End Campaign With Defeat Against Uzbekistan


The Indian women’s team crashed out of Round 2 of the AFC Olympic Qualifiers with a 0-3 loss to Uzbekistan in Tashkent on Wednesday. In the four-team group, India lost to Japan and Vietnam earlier. Backed by a loud, if not capable, crowd, Uzbekistan immediately put pressure on India, and began to dominate possession. The equation was clear: a win would put Uzbekistan ahead of the contention for the best slot for the second-placed team. India, meanwhile, was playing with pride. Within two minutes Uzbekistan were ahead from a set piece.

A glance at Karachik Lyudmila’s corner was played at the near post by Khabibullaeva Diyorakhon’s head towards the center of the six yard area, from where Kudratova Nilufar moved it to give them the lead.

It took some exceptional wickets from Shreya Hooda to ensure that India were not behind further in the half. In the 14h minute, Hooda saved from Nilufar when the striker was one-on-one with her after playing a through ball from midfield.

From the resulting corner, she attempted a long shot from Asadova Dilrabo. On another occasion, she again denied Dilrabo from point-blank range, the forward’s first-time shot from a palm cut-back to safety.

India came out at half-time with more conviction in their attack, and, as was the trend, Manisha Kalyan and Anju Tamang led the charge.

In the 49th minute, after receiving a pass at the top of the box, Manisha drove in from the left before firing a shot towards goal from an acute angle. She beat the keeper but the ball bounced off the crossbar.

Sensing the danger of an Indian comeback, Uzbekistan increased the pressure again and in the 51st minute Karachik doubled the team’s tally, scoring after some interplay at the top of the box.

She added a third with a long ranger that went in at the near post to give the home side a comfortable win and a real chance of qualifying for the next round.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

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