FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup: Last-eight hopes over for India after 3-0 defeat against Morocco

India’s quarterfinal hopes came to and with a 3-0 loss against Morocco in its second Group A match of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneshwar on Friday.

Morocco players celebrate between them after scoring a goal against India in the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2022 at the Kalinga stadium in Bhubaneswar.

Morocco players celebrate between them after scoring a goal against India in the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2022 at the Kalinga stadium in Bhubaneswar. | Photo Credit: BISWARANJAN ROUT/THE HINDU

India’s quarterfinal hopes came to and with a 3-0 loss against Morocco in its second Group A match of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneshwar on Friday.

India lost 3-0 against Morocco in its second Group A match of the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneshwar on Friday. The defeat ends the Blue Tigresses' quarterfinal hopes in the competition.

Three second-half goals from Doha El Madani, Yasmine Zouhir and Djennah Cherif saw the young Atlas Lionesses earn their first-ever points in an under-17 Women’s World Cup match.

“Of course, it is always painful to leave the World Cup in the group stage. In one way, I am still proud of the girls because they were putting in their big feet, they were working very hard and trying their very best. We can see that the fitness level is definitely not the problem, but we definitely need to be honest and say in the technical level, it is a little bit lower than the other teams,” head coach Thomas Dennerby told the press after the match.

“If we look at the girls, playing in Morocco, they are all playing in really, really good academies and they have been training for many years and we have these five months to catch up with them, but we could not do it. But I can promise everyone that we have been fighting so hard and that is one thing I am proud of our players and staff,” he added.

Unlike the opening against the United States of America (USA), India looked more solid at the back with an improved sense of clearing and better marking, especially in the first-half.

Starting with three changes, India head coach Thomas Dennerby replaced Anjali Munda with Keisham Melody Chanu between the sticks, while Babina Lisham started in the middle of the park. Babina put in a good performance in the opening 45 minutes and tracked back to contribute in defence during Morocco's counter-attacks.

At half-time, India limited Morocco to zero goals with nine interceptions and 18 passes in the attacking third — a significant improvement from the last match against the USA.

India was on course of managing at least a point, but hopes were squashed when a handball by Naketa in the 50th minute gifted Morocco a penalty. El Madani converted her spot-kick.

The goal acted as a catalyst for the handful of away fans – travelling from France and Morocco – as drums started rolling with the red flag wrapped around them.

Morocco got its second in the 62nd minute. Melody could not hold on to Samya Masnaoui's cross from the right and skipper Yasmine was in the right place at the right time to tap the ball in.

India came closest to scoring in the competition when Anita Kumari got a through ball in the 83rd minute and was one-on-one with Morocco keeper Wissal Titah, who had come off her line. Kumari tried to slot the ball past Titah, but she used her feet to block Anita's shot and deny India its opening World Cup goal.

Morocco scored its third in second-half injury time with a brilliant counter-attack. Masnaoui threaded an accurate through ball for Cherif between two Indian defenders and the latter kept her composure to slot the ball in the net past an outstretched Melody.

The loss ends India's hopes of qualifying for the quarterfinals, with its last match against Brazil being a dead rubber. On the contrary, Morocco will listen to its roars of “Maghreb! Maghreb!” on a loop as it looks to build on this win, against a strong USA team in its last group-stage match.

“I am relieved. I am happy for the girls, I’m happy for Morocco because, with this victory, we made history in the World Cup – our first world cup and our first win now. It was a tough one,” Moroccan’s head coach Anthony Rimasson said.

“At half-time, I told them to stop fearing, trust themselves and play football because football is always better to play like this – on the pitch and try to not shoot far away because in that case, the ball comes back really quick, and we have to play wide as well. I think that’s where most of the space was.

“We had the opponent blocking the centre so we had to go wide. And that’s what we tried to do in the second half, We did one change at half-time as well. I think it helped us to play better football – to have a striker coming back for the ball and then we could play deeper,” he added.

Match Result: India 0 lost to Morocco 3 (El Madani 51 (P), Zouhir 62’, Cherif 90+2’)

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :
Download Sportstar App
Download Sportstar App
 Daily football podcast
Connect With Us