Bala Devi scored the solitary goal as the Indian women’s team went down 1-5 to Uzbekistan in its first friendly match at the Yakkasary Stadium in Tashkent on Friday.
The Indian side took an early lead in the fifth minute but the hosts scored twice to take a 2-1 lead at the break before scoring three more goals in the second half to notch up a convincing win.
Sanju Yadav played in a cross from the left that found Dangmei Grace, who played in Bala as she put the ball past the goalkeeper.
Coach Maymol Rocky’s side came close to doubling its lead almost immediately through Grace, whose shot from the edge of the penalty area was saved by the Uzbek goalie Laylo Tilovova.
With the match opening up, both sides created chances as Indian custodian Aditi Chauhan was forced into a sharp save 15 minutes into the match.
On the other end, Bala saw her shot from close range stopped just two minutes later.
Grace was proving to be tough to deal with as she almost found the net in the 22nd minute and nearly created another from a corner.
At the half-hour mark though, Uzbekistan scored the equalizer through forward Lyudmila Karachik, who found the net in the 31st minute.
The two teams headed into the break with the hosts in the lead as defender Maftuna Shoyimova scored in the 38th minute.
The second half began with India earning an early corner but went two goals behind in the 49th minute as Nilufar Kudratova added a third for Uzbekistan.
Three minutes prior to the hour mark, Sanju almost grabbed India’s second as her direct free-kick just went past the frame of the goal.
However, in the 62nd minute, Uzbekistan added a fourth to extend the hosts’ lead and substitute Ugiloy Kuchkarova scored another eight minutes from time as the scoreline read 5-1 in favour of the hosts in the end.
The next match between the two teams will be played on September 2 at the same venue.
India Starting XI: Aditi Chauhan (GK); Sweety Devi, Jabamani Tudu, Ashalata Devi, Roja Devi; Sangita Basfore, Ratanbala Devi, Bala Devi; Sanju, Dangmei Grace, Sandhiya Ranganathan.