India’s Blue Tigresses hold hosts Uzbekistan to a goalless draw in second friendly!

The Indian senior women’s national team brushed off their bruising first-game loss to take a hard-fought and hugely credible goalless draw against Uzbekistan in the second friendly at the TDTU Stadium in Tashkent on Tuesday, June 4, 2024.

In a marked improvement from the first game, the Blue Tigresses were at the forefront of proceedings in the opening quarter, even earning themselves multiple set pieces in attacking areas to threaten the Uzbekistan goal.

The best chances of the half fell to Soumya Guguloth, with the winger’s dangerous drifts into the centre constantly posing problems for the hosts. With the first, Guguloth volleyed Anju Tamang’s cut back wide of the goal, when unmarked and near the penalty spot. Tamang’s crossing proved to be troublesome again soon after. The Uzbek goalkeeper Zarina Saidova’s weak punch wound its way to an onrushing Guguloth and even though the winger turned the ball in, the linesperson’s flag was up for offside.

It wasn’t all one-way traffic though as Uzbekistan forced Shreya Hooda into a pair of smart saves, one from a long range shot she tipped over, before saving a header from the resulting corner. The teams went into the break locked in a goalless stalemate.

The second half played out much to the tune of the first, with the Blue Tigresses the aggressors and the hosts reduced to counter-attacks ripe with physicality. Despite dominating the possession and constantly driving the ball into the final third, India’s lack of finesse with the final pass let them down. On the rare occasions that they did get the pass right, it was the finish that was lacking.

INDIA WOMEN:</b< Shreya Hooda – Shilky Devi, Ashalata Devi, Astam Oraon, Sangita Basfore, Soumya Guguloth, Sanju, Anju Tamang, Pyari Xaxa, Priyangka Devi, Sandhiya Ranganathan (76′ Ranjana Chanu)

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