SAFF U-18 C’ship: Indian girls clinch third spot

Defeat Bhutan 1-0 in the third-place playoff in Thimpu on Sunday.

India's U-18 women's football that played Bhutan on Sunday. Photo: AIFF

India’s U-18 girls clinched the third spot in the U-18 SAFF Championship with a 1-0 win over Bhutan in the third-place playoff in Thimpu on Sunday. Devneta Roy’s 73rd-minute strike provided the difference between the two teams in a tight contest.

India dominated its opposition for much of the first half but could not convert its chances. Neither of the teams created many chances in the second half, but in search of the goal, the Indians attacked in hordes even as Bhutan threatened on the counter-attack.

Wasted chances

Roy provided relief for India when she sidestepped her marker and lobbed the ball over the Bhutanese custodian. Emboldened, Indians attacked further without success but the contest had been won.

Earlier, Roy had come close to give India the lead on two occasions. In the 24th minute, her shot from inside the box went past the goalpost from a tight angle, and three minutes later, her header went over the bar. On other occasions, too, the Indians seemed complacent in front of the goal.

It was to haunt the side for much of the contest.