December 19, 2019 9:01:47 pm
Sweden expectedly clinched the title of the women’s U-17 international football tournament after blanking India 4-0 in a lop-sided summit clash here on Thursday.
The Swedes took the lead as early as the fourth minute through Rusul Kafaji, who struck a shot from outside the penalty box that hit the back of the net.
The visiting side extended their lead in the 16th minute with skipper Elma Nelhage heading in Rusul’s corner kick.
Two minutes later, Sweden added a third through Evelina Duljan, who raced down the right flank, got into the box and shot across to score.
In the 20th minute, the much superior European side threatened again through Monica Bah, who latched on to an aerial ball and ran into the penalty area. She fired in a powerful shot but India keeper Manju Ganjhu was equal to it, diving low to thwart it away.
Changing over, India threatened the opposition citadel for the first time in the match. Wing back Jyoti Kumari curled in a cross from her flank that evaded an onrushing Lynda Kom and was collected by the Swedish custodian Elin Svahn.
Manju was called into action once again a few minutes from the hour mark as she saved a low shot from the left side of the penalty area, which was eventually cleared away for a corner.
In the 61st minute, Sweden earned a penalty kick after a foul inside the box but the resulting effort was skied over the bar by Matilda Vinberg.
The European side, though, made it four through Monica as she met a cross from the right and the ball hit the post and went into the goal.
Evelina Duljan of Sweden was named the most valuable player while team-mates Monika Bah finished as highest scorer and Elin Svahn the best goalkeeper. India’s Shilky Devi was named the most promising player.
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