BHUBANESWAR: It was an almost full house at Kalinga Stadium, mostly filled up by schoolchildren, who egged India on in their opening match of the Fifa U-17 Women’s World Cup against the US.
But the home support did not have much bearing on their performance as, in the end, the difference in quality proved too great for India as they were beaten 0-8 in the second match of Group A here on Tuesday.
FULL TIME! Tonight’s action in Bhubaneswar draws to a close.FT Score: 🇮🇳 0-8 🇺🇸#INDUSA ⚔️ #U17WWC 🏆… https://t.co/BZqIp632FZ
— Indian Football Team (@IndianFootball) 1665505419000
While they had just two shots on target, the best move of the game for India came early on when Neha made a run from midfield into the opposition box in the fifth minute. But the pressure of a World Cup match took a toll on the midfielder as she stumbled at the last minute to the delight of US custodian Victoria Safradin.
From then on, the match belonged to the visitors as they kept drilling one goal after the other at regular intervals.
While Melina Rebimbas hit a brace, the other scorers hit one strike each to give the runners-up of the inaugural U-17 World Cup the start they had expected ahead of their second game against Brazil.
The much awaited #FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup India 2022 kicks off to a fiery start at the #KalingaStadium… https://t.co/v23pR3t4ak
— PIB in Odisha (@PIBBhubaneswar) 1665499092000
The breakthrough came in the 9th minute when Gisele Thompson created a move from the right flank and sent a cross to Rebimbas who sent an overhead volley past India goalkeeper Anjali Munda.
The first goal spurred the US players on and they scored the second seven minutes later as Charlotte Kohler headed in a corner kick from Riley Jackson. The third US strike came in the 23rd minute from the feet of player-of-the-match Onyeka Gamero.
With the score reading 0-3 inside the first 25 minutes, the Indian girls looked listless and began to even lose their shape, something that was taken advantage of by their opposition.
Union Minister Shri @ianuragthakur flanked by Union Minister Shri @dpradhanbjp and Odisha CM Shri @Naveen_Odisha at… https://t.co/qthLbvoOPr
— PIB in Odisha (@PIBBhubaneswar) 1665502363000
Despite what the scoreline indicated, India goalie Anjali did make it less heart-breaking for the home fans with a few important saves. One of them came in the 27th minute when she saved a goal-bound shot after a US corner.
Yet, the obvious could not be deterred as Rebimbas scored her second of the match with a pile driver and Gisele made it 5-0 for her team before the change of ends by cutting in from the right of the box in the 39th minute, sidestepping the defenders and shooting the ball in.
Coach Thomas Dennerby made a few changes in the second half but could bring no change to the script playing before him.
⚽️Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Shri @ianuragthakur graced the opening ceremony of the #FIFA U-17 Wom… https://t.co/nZmHvEtT8n
— PIB in Odisha (@PIBBhubaneswar) 1665504072000
It took the US just six minutes after change of ends to restart the rout as Ella Emir joined in the goal-fest by converting from a corner in the 51st minute. Eight minutes later, Suarez added to her and her team’s tally by converting from the spot after a foul by Kajal inside the box.
Super-sub Mia Bhuta then joined the party with a swerving shot from long range just three minutes later in what could be termed the best goal of the encounter.
In Bhubaneswar: Brazil 1, Morocco 0. In Margao: Chile 3, New Zealand 1; Germany 2, Nigeria 1