Uzbekistan holds India to draw in second friendly

The Indian senior women’s football team was held to a draw in its second international friendly against Uzbekistan.

Sandhiya Ranganathan scored India's lone goal in the second half.   -  AIFF

The Indian senior women’s football team was held to a draw in its second international friendly against Uzbekistan at the Yakkasari Stadium in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, on Monday.

India took lead in the second half through forward Sandhiya Ranganathan, but the home side clawed back with a little over 10 minutes of regulation time left in the game, as Lyudmila Karachik equalised through a penalty.

It was a free-flowing game that ebbed and flowed both ways, as both the sides tried to break the deadlock. India forward Bala Devi had the first real chance of the match for the away side, as she lined up a free-kick from close range. However, her effort went wide.

AIFF Emerging Player of the Year, Dangmei Grace troubled the Uzbekistan defenders from the right wing, while goalkeeper Aditi Chauhan made some smart saves at the other end.

It was after the change of ends, however, that India found the breakthrough that they were looking for, as Bala raced forward and played Sandhiya through on goal as the latter converted the chance in the 52nd minute.

India almost doubled its lead a few minutes later, when Ranjana Chanu moved to the left flank and whipped it in across the face of the goal. However, nobody was present in the box to convert the chance.

Uzbekistan, kept probing at the Indian defence, and got its reward in the form of a 78th minute penalty that was converted by Lyudmila Karachik.

Daya Devi, who replaced Sandhiya in the second half, had a late chance to win it for India, but her shot went wide of goal.

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