In an exciting match that could have ended either way, India’s senior women’s team lost to Uzbekistan 2-3 in an international friendly. This was on Tuesday, March 28, 2023, at Pakhtakor Stadium. The wards of Thomas Dennerby fought tooth and nail and might have earned a 2-2 draw if they had fought tooth and nail. Their hopes were dashed by Kamila Zaripova’s strike in the second minute of stoppage time.
💔 𝐅𝐔𝐋𝐋 𝐓𝐈𝐌𝐄! India go down to an injury time winner. #UZBIND ⚔️ #BackTheBlue 💙 #ShePower 👧 #IndianFootball ⚽ #BlueTigresses 🐯 pic.twitter.com/ZqTwk9IcxJ
— Indian Football Team (@IndianFootball) March 28, 2023
The hosts regained the initiative in a minute. Like most of their attacks, this was led by Lyudmila Karachik. She was all over India from the word go and, on this occasion, came in from the right. She got on the end of a lob from behind. Diyora Khabibullaeva taps in a measured cross before the goal. Sweety Devi’s challenge on Uzbek No. 10 was too soon and too late.
India was not overwhelmed. Maftuna had to palm out Karthika Angamuthu’s header from the goalline in the 16th minute, and it was palmed away by Maftuna. As a result, she could do nothing to prevent Dangmei Grace from completing a brilliant run down the right flank with a scorching shot in the 22nd minute to make it 1-1. Ashalata Devi’s unforced error ended India’s joy. A bullet hit her as she failed to remove her hands from the way on the edge of India’s penalty box. A grounder by Karachik made it 2-1.
Early in the second half, the Uzbeks had the opportunity to make the score 3-1. The goalkeepers of India and Ashalata both saved back-to-back shots by Diyora in the 59th minute. Indumathi Kathiresan scored the match’s most photogenic goal a few minutes later.
Indumathi Kathiresan noticed that Maftuna had been well off the line after an innocuous exchange at the edge of the Uzbek box. The goal was scored over her head with a left-footed swerve.
A diving Shreya kept out Diyora’s powerful shot four minutes later. Nafisa Nabikulova’s header from Karachik’s corner saved India five minutes later. Karachik’s dangerous set pieces were finally successful in the 92nd minute. After a misdirected clearance, her left-footed corner found an unmarked Zaripova inside India’s box. In a flash, she launched a volley that landed in the far corner of the goal.