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Priyangka Devi's goal gives India 1-0 win over Egypt in friendly

File photo of the Indian women's football team training AIFF

Priyangka Devi scored her first goal for the Indian women's football team as they registered a 1-0 win over lower-ranked Egypt in the first friendly at Zarqa, Jordan on Wednesday.

This was the team's first match since being forced to withdraw from the group stage of the AFC Asian Cup, which India hosted in January-February, after they failed to field a team due to a COVID-19 outbreak inside its bio-bubble in Mumbai.

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 but Anju Tamang, who latched on to the ball, missed the chance. Couple of minutes later, Manisha Kalyan almost scored through Dalima Chhibber's pass from the right but it was collected by the Egyptian custodian.

Before the opposition could settle into the game, a sudden strike by Priyangka in the 30th minute gave India the early lead, and remained the only goal of the match. Dalima passed the ball to Priyangka after Manisha essayed a 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 keeper.

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

Before the hour-mark, Egypt's prolific captain Engy Ahmed Sayed tried her luck from close range, but goalkeeper Sowmiya Narayanasamy stood tall to deny her confidently. Hayam Abdellatif had the final effort for Egypt in the dying minutes of the game but it landed safely into Sowmiya's gloves.

The last change was made by Dennerby at the final minutes of the regulation time when Manisha was replaced by Mariyammal.

The match soon came to an end as India earned their first victory in Jordan. They will next play hosts Jordan on April 8.

INDIA XI: Sowmiya Narayanasamy (GK); Dalima Chhibber, Sweety Devi, Ashalata Devi (C), Dangmei Grace (Soumya Guguloth 72'), Manisha (Mariyammal 90+2'), Renu (Pyari Xaxa 45'), Anju Tamang (Sandhiya 55'), Priyangka Devi (Ratanbala Devi 72'), Sanju, Martina Thokchom.