The Indian Women’s Team went down fighting 2-3 to the Ukraine in Alanya, Turkey, on Tuesday, February 23 to round off their tour of Turkey.
India had garnered an early two-goal lead in the first half, aided by goals from Pyari Xaxa and Manisha, only to see Ukraine mount a late comeback to snatch the victory, thanks to a hattrick by striker Daria Apanashchenko.
It was a frantic start to the game as India mounted frequent attacks from the beginning. Manisha got an early look-in on the Ukraine goal but her shot from the edge of the box went over the bar around the quarter-hour mark.
India took the early lead a few minutes later as a cross by Indumathi Kathiresan from the right found its way to Pyari Xaxa amidst a melee of legs. The latter made no mistake, as she bundled the ball over the line.
Xaxa had the chance to double the lead around the half-hour mark when she was played through on goal and placed her shot past the keeper, before a Ukraine defender turned it into her own goal. However, Xaxa was flagged offside by the match officials and her effort was ruled out.
Manisha doubled India’s lead a few minutes later, though, as she produced a cool finish past the Ukrainian keeper after being played through behind the defence via an aerial through-ball from captain Sangita Basfore.
Minutes before the half-time whistle, Ukraine forward Daria Apanashchenko nodded in a cross from the left to pull one back for her side as the teams headed back into the dressing rooms for the breather.
It was a much tighter affair in the second half, as both the sides jostled for control of the game. Ukraine were soon awarded a penalty for an infringement inside the Indian penalty box, and Apanashchenko converted again, to level the scores at 2-2.
Deep into added time, Ukraine managed to find the winner, when Apanashchenko ran onto a back-heel inside the Indian box to chip it over goalkeeper Linthoingambi.