Shanghai, Aug 28 IANS | 2 months ago

The Asian Games-bound Indian women's football team went down 0-3 to Century Park FC in their first practice match here Thursday.

India conceded on both sides of halftime with their best chance coming in the second period when newly-appointed captain Bembem Devi failed to convert from the penalty spot.

India took time to adjust to the conditions at the Century Park Stadium.

The hosts, a mixed bag of U-16 and U-18 girls and boys -- mostly European -- training at the Park facilities, took advantage of their counterparts' slow start to surge ahead in the 20th minute. A well-taken free kick flew past goalkeeper Aditi Chauhan and into her right top corner.

Stung by the early goal, the twice SAFF champions showed some urgency. Striker Bala Devi missed a gilt edged chance shooting over from Sasmita Malik's in-swinging cross from the right.

Moments later, the women's nationals highest scorer fluffed again from close, this time dragging her effort wide after good work down the middle by Bembem and Premi Devi.

Changing over, India had their best chance to draw level. Winger Kamala Devi cut inside two markers to dart inside the box only to be felled by the last stopper back. The referee pointed to the spot but Bembem uncharacteristically put her spot-kick over the frame.

The hosts doubled their tally against the run of play.

A swift counter attacking move down the left channel provided the second goal for the Shanghai outfit.

India refused to throw in the towel as coach Tarun Roy made the most of unlimited number of substitutions' rule in friendlies, ringing in a host of changes. But best efforts fell flat as they went further down with 10 minutes to go.

India next play Shanghai SVT Sep 2.

(Posted on 28-08-2014)

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