Priyangka Devi on target as India beat Egypt in international friendly

Indian women’s football team returned to action on a winning note as they edged past Egypt 1-0 in an international friendly at the Prince Mohammed Stadium in Zarqa, Jordan.

Youngster Priyangka Devi was the only scorer of the night, netting her first-ever goal for the Blue Tigresses against Egypt.

The first half began with the Indian side pressing hard to seize the initiative. Captain Ashalata Devi tried to earn an early lead in the 18th minute with a shot from distance but Anju, who latched on to the ball, missed the chance.

Couple of minutes later, Manisha almost scored the first on the night through Dalima Chhibber’s pass from the right but it was intercepted by the Egyptian custodian.

Before the opposition could settle into the game, a sudden strike by Priyangka in the 32nd minute gave India the early lead, and remained the only goal of the match. Chhibber managed to pass the ball to Priyangka through Manisha’s brilliant cross from the left and eventually, the young midfielder found the back of the net. The half time score read 1-0 in favour of India.

The second half was played out on similar lines with India creating more chances, as head coach Thomas Dennerby made his first change at the restart, replacing forward Renu with Pyari Xaxa.

Ten minutes after the resumption, Pyari came close to scoring in the 53rd minute as she got on the end of a cross from Manisha with an excellent run, but the shot was saved by the goalkeeper.

Couple of more substitutions followed as Sandhiya came on in place of Anju Tamang, and Soumya and Ratanbala were introduced in place of Dangmei Grace and Priyangka respectively.

The prolific captain Engy Ahmed Sayed tried her luck from close range before the hour-mark, but Sowmiya stood tall to deny her confidently.

Hayam Abdellatif had the final effort for Egypt in the dying minutes of the game but her effort landed safely into Sowmiya’s gloves. The last change was made by Dennerby in the final minutes of regulation time when Manisha was replaced by Mariyammal.

The match soon came to an end, and the India earned their first victory in Jordan.

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