A spirited India today played out a 1-1 draw against Iran in the first Group D match of the AFC Women’s U-19 Championship 2017 Qualifiers.
Kashmina gave India the lead in the 59th minute while Mokhtarifar got the equaliser for Iran in the 81st minute. India were down to nine players on the field at that moment as Shetty and captain Ratanbala Devi were being treated outside the playing arena.
Kashmina’s goal came straight out of the text book. It was a counter-attack from which Shetty sped past her marker on the right flank and essayed it for Kashmina in the box. The nippy striker took her time, sidestepped, and neatly placed the ball into the net.
Kashmina, however, should have finished the match off when she beat the off-side trap and found herself in a one-to-one situation with rival Goalkeeper Sefati in the 87th minute. But the goalie managed to get her palm on the way as the ball missed by a whisker.
Despite the Iranians using their physical superiority to their advantage, the Indians did not shy away from the fight.
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The girls caught hold of the loose balls, played in between the gaps and moved on. On occasions, however, the over enthusiasm got to them with mispasses spoiling a promising counter-attack. India next play hosts Vietnam on November 4.