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AFC QUALIFIERS BOUND INDIA WOMEN'S U-16 SQUAD ANNOUNCED

11.10.2014 - AIFF PRESS RELEASE : India U-16 Women's National Team Head Coach Maymol Rocky has announced a 23-member Squad for the AFC U-16 Women's Championship (Qualifiers) in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The Indian contingent who were camping in Ahmedabad for the past one and half months will be travelling to Dhaka on from Mumbai on Monday morning.

India - placed in Group B along with United Arab Emirates (UAE), Jordan, Iran, and hosts Bangladesh - will be opening their account against Iran on October 17 at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka. Hosts Bangladesh will lock horns with India in the next game two days later with UAE and Jordan following up next on October 21 and 23 respectively.

India for the record have never qualified for the main round barring the inaugural edition in 2005 where no qualification was required as only eight teams took part. In that edition, India finished third in Group A which also had 2009 champions South Korea, Thailand and Indonesia.

AFC QUALIFIERS BOUND INDIA WOMEN'S U-16 SQUAD

GOALKEEPERS : Subha Darshini Patra (Odisha), Shreya Hooda (Haryana), Linthoingambi Devi Maibam (Manipur)
DEFENDERS : Thahenbi Devi Maharabam (Manipur), Eva Panna (Odisha), JabamaniTudu (Odisha), Sasmita Behera (Odisha), Scindia Veganand Saundatikar (Goa), Karen Kenneth Pais (Mumbai), Amrita Kumari (Bihar)
MIDFIELDERS : Premi Chiru Manipur), Kashmina (Manipur), Nisha (Haryana), Lifa Gama (Goa), Anline Sharmila Fernandes (Goa), Srijana Tamang (Odisha), Atisha Pratap Singh (Delhi), Mansi Vakharia (Ahmedabad)
FORWARDS : Sushmita Bardhan (West Bengal), Daya Devi Heigrujam (Manipur), Roja Devi Asem (Manipur), Anushka Samuel (Delhi), Adhithi Rajagopal (Tamil Nadu)
HEAD COACH: Maymol Rocky(Goa)
AFC QUALIFIERS BOUND INDIA WOMEN'S U-16 National Team arrived at their team hotel in Dhaka,

13.10.2014: AIFF PRESS RELEASE : A large posse of local journalists and photographers made 'light' of the drizzle - caused by the side effects of cyclone HudHud which has pounded the coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha - as the India U-16 Women's National Team arrived at their team hotel in Dhaka, Bangladesh on Monday afternoon (October 13, 2014) for their AFC U-16 Women's Championship (Qualifiers).

It looked like skies would open up just at the time of the U-16 girls' arrival but that proved to be no deterrent for the local scribes as well as the shutterbugs who waited patiently in front of the team hotel, while the team bus ferrying them from the airport to the hotel was fighting another fruitless war with 'The Dhaka traffic' in peak hours.

The team reached an hour late from their scheduled arrival time. "It is expected during this time of the day in Dhaka," a journalist from a vernacular daily informed www.the-aiff.com.

India are in Group B along with United Arab Emirates (UAE), Jordan, Iran, and hosts Bangladesh. The U-16 colts' play first match against Iran on October 17, 2014) followed by Bangladesh two days later. United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Jordan will wait for them next on October 21 and 23 respectively.

Only one team will make the cut from each of the four groups in the qualifying stage with the top four teams of the AFC U-16 Women's Championship in China last year - Japan, DPR Korea, China PR and Thailand – are already in the eight-nation Finals. "It is never easy to finish best among five teams in a group," Head Coach of the team Maymol Rocky told www.the-aiff.com minutes after checking in the team hotel.

"When you have top teams like Jordan and UAE in your group you know that you have to put your best foot forward. "I am happy with the 45-day camp in Gandhinagar and the girls are raring to go. This is their first real taste of international competition," the coach from Goa added.

Most of these 23 girls who make the U-16 National Team were part of the winning team in the AFC U-14 Girls Regional Championship 2013 for the South and Central region. "They have played against Iran and we won the match 6-1," Maymol informed. "But of course, this is a different ball game. The play field is so much bigger and not concentrated on South and Central region only."

All the games will take place at the Bangabandhu Stadium in Dhaka. India will start practicing from tomorrow (October 14, 2014).

THE 23-MEMBER SQUAD:

GOALKEEPERS : Subha Darshini Patra (Odisha), Shreya Hooda (Haryana), Linthoingambi Devi Maibam (Manipur)
DEFENDERS : Thahenbi Devi Maharabam (Manipur), Eva Panna (Odisha), JabamaniTudu (Odisha), Sasmita Behera (Odisha), Scindia Veganand Saundatikar (Goa), Karen Kenneth Pais (Mumbai), Amrita Kumari (Bihar)
MIDFIELDERS : Premi Chiru Manipur), Kashmina (Manipur), Nisha (Haryana), Lifa Gama (Goa), Anline Sharmila Fernandes (Goa), Srijana Tamang (Odisha), Atisha Pratap Singh (Delhi), Mansi Vakharia (Ahmedabad)
FORWARDS : Sushmita Bardhan (West Bengal), Daya Devi Heigrujam (Manipur), Roja Devi Asem (Manipur), Anushka Samuel (Delhi), Adhithi Rajagopal (Tamil Nadu)
HEAD COACH: Maymol Rocky(Goa)

FIXTURE - INDIA

23.10.2014: India 6-3 Jordan
IND : Anushka Samuel 20', 67', Sushmita Bardhan 22', Eva Panna 25', Jabamani Tudu 87', Roja Devi 88'
JOR : Nour Mahmud 11', Jeeda Albaner 53', Tasnim 74'

21.10.2014: INDIA 12-0 United Arab Emirates
IND : Roja Devi 24', 59', 74', 90+2', Anushka Samuel 71', 77', 82', 84', Sushmita Bardhan 3', 57', Premi Chiru 7', Jabamani Tudu 67'.

19.10.2014: Bangladesh 1-2 INDIA
IRN : Roja - 2
IND : Sanjida – 20th

17.10.2014: Iran 2-1 INDIA
IRN : Fatemeh Hosseni – 71st, 87th
IND : Premi Chiru – 13th
HUMDINGER ON THE CARDS AS INDIA PLAY HOSTS BANGLADESH
 Indian U-16 Girls at Bangladesh


AIFF PRESS RELEASE: 18.10.2014 : All roads in Dhaka will lead to the Bangabandhu Stadium on Sunday where India take on high-flying hosts Bangladesh in a Group B humdinger of the AFC U-16 Women's Championship China 2015 (Qualifiers). Billed as the most anticipated game of the group which also shelters Iran, Jordan and United Arab Emirates (UAE), the neighbouring South Asian countries will have a lot to play for not only in terms of earning the bragging rights but also for a berth in China next year.

'I feel this match will see much more turnout than what we see in our National (Bangladesh Premier League) league games," a local journalist mused on the day Bangladesh thrashed makeweights UAE 6-0. The hosts have certainly punched above weight till now, shocking everyone starting from Head Coach Golam Rabbani (Choton) by pulling off a win against the much more fancied Jordan in their opening game.

'Even I could not believe the win," the Bangladeshi coach was quoted as saying post that mach. 'This is certainly a big win. We have got the boost and now we really fancy our chances of making the cut," he had added.

Playing their first international tournament and with just a month's preparation on home soil, the 117th ranked team were really expected to make the numbers. But much like Costa Rica in this year's FIFA World Cup the girls in green have not only won games they were not expected to win, but have also played some good brand of football.

'Before the tournament we did not even expect to beat UAE. We did not know that they had team playing for the first time," admitted local Coach popularly known as Choton. 'They have played good attacking football," India Coach Maymol Rocky maintained. 'We did not expect them to play so well to be honest. It will be anybody's game I feel on Sunday, and certainly they will be the favourites," she added.

India unlike Bangladesh failed to hold on to their slender first half lead against Iran, conceding two late goals to end on the wrong side. 'We got tired. We need to work on our fitness," lamented Rocky. Iran – top of the table with two wins in two like Bangladesh – looked a different team in the second half after being completely overshadowed by India in the first period. Substitute Fatemeh Hosseini notched a brace to cancel out Premi Chiru's first half strike.

'They were very physical," Rocky shared later.

'All 11 of our players are carrying niggles including the goalkeeper. This is not an excuse but a lesson learnt. We will work on our fitness and it is our duty now to spur them up for the all important next game against the hosts," the India coach from Goa signed off. It will surely be a crunch game with much at stake as whoever wins the tie will fancy their chances of topping the group with Bangladesh's only hurdle being Iran and India left to deal with Jordan, with UAE, unless a miracle, not expected to cause a lot of flutter owing to their dismal performances in both matches.

While Bangladesh are second in the points table with six points from two matches while India are still to open their slate after the first game.

The kickoff is at 4:30 PM IST.

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HUGE MEDIA INTERTEST BEDAZZLES INDIA CAPTAIN AMRITA KUMARI
 Indian U-16 Girls at Bangladesh

AIFF PRESS RELEASE: 14.10.2014 : Seconds after stepping inside the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) Conference Room which was bursting at the seams with not less than 90 journalists and photographers/cameraman on the job, India U-16 Women’s National captain Amrita Kumari was made to understand the weight of her armband.

Not among the two – Head Coach and a first team player (Angline Fernandes) - attending the AFC U-16 Women's Championship (Qualifiers) Pre Tournament Media Interaction, Amrita was called on later after photographers requested for a group photograph involving all the five captains of Group B. She arrived in the nick of time, this time egged on by the crazy Dhaka traffic as well.

Escorted immediately to the venue, she was left flabbergasted upon entering the Conference Room where the Press meet - done with one team at a time due to paucity of space - had just ended. "I have seen this in television only. Star players being mobbed by photographers. At 16 this happening to me," a seemingly dazed Amrita told www.the-aiff.com later.

They are not used to such media attention. This is the first time they are playing an international tournament. I hope this spurs her (Amrita) up to lead from the front," Head Coach of the team Maymol Rocky added. The Bihar centre back of the Indian team was literally mobbed by photographers of the print media first for her solo shot and then with her Bangladeshi counterpart Monika Chakma, an attacking midfielder.

"We need photographs of all captains for our publication. This is the case in almost all dailies here," enlightened a local shutterbug. "You see in cricket also the picture of the two captains are in demand the most. It's the same here," added another photographer who was one of those many clicking India and Bangladesh captains together.

"This is a picture that will be the most seen on tomorrow's newspaper. India and Bangladesh match is billed as the The Big One here," BFF Media and Public Relations Officer Ahsan Ahmed (Amit) further elucidated. At the Media Interaction India Coach Rocky backed her girls to punch above weight.

"We will go everything we can't top the group," Rocky told reporters when quizzed about her expectations from the Qualifiers. When educated by the scribes about Jordan's training camp in Germany and Iran's seventh-month long rehearsal, Rocky reiterated: "They are good teams and I feel they are the favourites going into the Qualifiers.

"But football is a game won and lost on the day. The girls are hungry and we are raring to go. This is their first international tournament technically and they are upbeat." This Indian Team is the same bunch that won the AFC U-14 Girls Regional Championship 2013 for the South and Central region. In that meet they beat Iran by a whopping 6-1 margin. But Coach Rocky feels that it would be foolish to harp on the past rather than focus on the present.

"They are a very improved bunch. Two years can transform a team considerably and we cannot be complacent on what we have achieved two years ago." Iran Coach Shadi Mahini put her weight firmly behind India stating that the "both India and Jordan are the teams to look out for. We need to be on guard against them."

Later in the day, the Indian Team practiced for the first time in Dhaka at the Rajarbagh Police Line Ground for an hour. After practice the players and coaches paid a visit to the beautiful Bangabandhu Stadium, the venue for all matches of Group B.

 Indian U-16 Girls beat Bangladesh

INDIA END CAMPAIGN ON A HIGH - INDIA GIRLS BREEZE PAST JORDAN 6-3

India 6-3 Jordan
IND : Anushka Samuel 20', 67', Sushmita Bardhan 22', Eva Panna 25', Jabamani Tudu 87', Roja Devi 88'
JOR : Nour Mahmud 11', Jeeda Albaner 53', Tasnim 74'

23.10.2014: AIFF PRESS RELEASE : India's Diwali was both sweet and sour as they breezed past Jordan in a freescoring 6-3 encounter but missed qualification by the skin of their teeth in their last Group B game of the AFC U-16 Women's Championship China 2015 (Qualifiers) at the Bangabandhu Stadium in Dhaka on Thursday (October 23, 2014).

The girls in blue finished second in the group with nine points from four matches, three behind qualifiers Iran who topped the table with full 12 points from four matches. Needing to win in the last game and hoping that Bangladesh beat Iran, India stole a march over Jordan in a high-scoring match. Bangladesh in the next match though went down 1-2 to Iran.

'I am happy with the way our girls responded to the challenge,'coach Maymol Rocky told reporters at the post match media interaction. We lost the first match but after that won three in great fashion. The girls showed a lot of character and we can take a lot of positives from this tournament, she added. Coming to the match, India Goalkeeper Shreya Hooda had a forgettable outing letting in all three goals which on another day she would have saved easily.

Jordan midfielder Nour Mahmud was the first one to benefit from her first and worst howler, beating Shreya at her neat post from a 30-yard free kick. India then scored three in the space of five minutes to wrest back the advantage through Anushka Samuel, Sushmita Bardhan and Eva Panna.

Jordan pegged back twice through Jeeda Albaner and Tasnim with Anushka grabbing her brace in between the two strikes. The girls in blue then pulled away with two late goals deep into the second half, this time courtesy Jabamani Tudu and Roja Devi to close on a high. India thus finished second in group B with nine points from four matches.

Coach Maymol Rocky made two the team that belittled UAE 12-0, bringing in Anushka who scored four goals in the last match in place of Lifa Gama and replacing the injured Kashmina with Eva. India were given a early jolt when goalkeeper Shreya Hooda failed to hold to an easy ball from a 30-yard freekick by Alanoud Alzabrey. The ball squirmed under her gloves at the near post.

From the next attack India almost equalised with Sushmita dragging her diagonal effort wide. The Bengal striker had a chance to make amends moments later from a Roja corner but this time she failed to connect to the looping flag kick. Strike partner Anushka though lapped up her chance in the 20th minute. Premi Chiru - who had a brilliant match - robbed Jordan's Leen Alabbadi in the middle of the park and exchanged passes with Sushmita with the latter etting up Anushka inside the area. The Delhi striker latched on to the pass firing low past goalkeeper Rand Albustanji at the far post.

Two minutes later Sushmita atoned for her misses with a fine chipped effort from the top of the box to give India the lead. And after just three minutes, before Jordan could settle down from this sudden onslaught, India surged further ahead. Eva Panna - playing her first match of the tournament - made the most of a poor clearance inside the box to head into an empty net with the goalkeeper out of her line.

Jordan had a chance to reduce the arrears in first half added time when Jeeda Albaner spooned her effort inches over. Jordan's No 13 though rectified soon after the restart, reducing the arrears albeit luckily when off-colour Shreya made a hash of Jeeda's looping shot trying to collect the ball rather than opting for a safety first fist out.

Coach Rocky replaced Eva with Mansi Vakharia and moments later India extended their margin through Anushka who doubled her tally, taking down a Premi square pass beautifully to smash home on the half volley. Sushmita made way for the fleet-footed Lifa Gama up front as India went for the kill. Jordan pegged one back after Shreya failed to smother a tame effort from Leen Al-Btoush.

Soon after Shreya was replaced by Linthoingambi Devi under the bar, with India riding a late flourish to add to more to their kitty and end the match and their campaign on a high. Jabamani scored her second of the competition while Roja netted her eighth.

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INDIA GIRLS TOY WITH HAPLESS UAE COUNTERPARTS

 Indian U-16 Girls beat Bangladesh

21.10.2014: India 12-0 UAE
(Roja Devi - 24th, 59th, 74th, 90+2), Anushka Samuel - 71st, 77th, 82nd, 84th), Sushmita Bardhan - 3rd 57rd, Premi Chiru - 7th, Jabamani Tudu - 67th)

INDIA: Linthoingambi Devi, Jabamani Tudu, Amrita Kumari, Thahenbi Devi, Anline Fernandes, Premi Chiru, Srijana Tamang (Scindia Saundatikar - 54th), Kashmina, Sushmita Bardhan, Lifa Gama (Daya Devi - 43rd Anushka Samuel - 61st), Roja Devi.

21.10.2014: AIFF PRESS RELEASE : A ruthless India U-16 Women's National Team pulverized minnows United Arab Emirates (UAE) 12-0 in a contest that saw the ball cross UAE half only thrice in full ninety minutes.

Roja Devi and substitute Anushka Sharma grabbed four goals apiece with a brace from Sushmita Bardhan and goals from Jabamani Tudu and Premi Chiru as India played football as if they bursting crackers ahead of Diwali in the AFC U-16 Women's Championship China 2015 (Qualifiers) at the Bangabandhu Stadium in Dhaka on Tuesday (October 21, 2014).

With this massive win, India have catapulted to the second spot from fourth in Group B with six points from three matches. Iran, who consolidated their place at the top of the heap after beating Jordan 6-1, now have nine points from three points with Bangladesh (6 points) third followed by Jordan in fourth place (3 points) and out-of-contention UAE rooted to the bottom without with nothing to show for.

Coming to the match, it was so lopsided that goalkeeper Linthoingambi Devi - playing her first game - shook more hands that had touches of the ball and her counterpart Dalal Abdulla made more passes than any of her teammates before the break. Like already in the groove and just waiting to get into a night club to break free on a Saturday night, India took barely three minutes to break the deadlock. West Bengal's Sushmita displayed deft touch to go past the keeper from a one on one situation with the ball in the air, poking home with the goal at her mercy.

Four minutes later, Premi drifted into the right-berth and dribbled past two defenders to sidestep the keeper and smash in a low shot at the near post. The next goal came after 17 minutes. But had Premi, Kashmina and Sushmita converted their chances in that span the scorekeeper would surely have charged extra. Bangladesh match's hero Roja bagged her third goal of the competition with a drive from the edge of the box which showed goalkeeper Dalal in very poor light.

Jabamani hit the crosspiece two minutes from the break as India closed the half knowing it could easily have been 7-0 at halftime. In between such flood of goalmouth action, Lifa Gama was replaced by Daya Devi one minute before the interval while Scindia Saundatikar making her first appearance in place of Srijana.

India atoned for their spurned efforts post the break, and in record breaking style. In the next 45 minutes the girls in blue plundered nine goals to create a record of the highest number of goals scored in a single match at the Bangabandhu Stadium.

Roja picked out Sushmita at the far end with the diminutive striker nutmegging the custodian - who would have preferred to even study that stand between the sticks - to poke in her second. Within two minutes Roja was at the double once again - she had scored two including the winner in the last game -volleying home a Premi cross from the top of the box.

At the hour mark came two more evidences of the extent of one-sidedness in the game. UAE won their first corner in the 60th minute and in the very next came in Anushka Samuel - replacing Daya who complained of illness –who went on to score four times in the span of 29 minutes. Jabamani found luck by her side in the second half as she met a low cross from the left to see the ball roll under the goalkeeper's body and nestle into the back of the net. Half a dozen scored, but for Anushka the party had just begun.

A ten-minute hattrick with all opportunistic strikes coupled with help from the flailing goalkeeper and the cherry on top of that her fourth in the 84th, the 15-year old Delhite wrecked havoc in her cameo. In between her strikes, Roja not only grabbed her hattrick but completed the rout leaving the UAE players to end their campaign on the worst possible note.

INDIA NEXT PLAY JORDAN ON THURSDAY (October 23, 2014).

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INDIA RALLY TO BEAT BANGLADESH 2-1

19.10.2014: India 2-1 Bangladesh
IRN : Roja - 2
IND : Sanjida – 20th
INDIA: Shreya Hooda; Jabamani Tudu, Thahenbi Devi Maharabam, Amrita Kumari (C), Anline Fernandes; Srijana Tamang, Nisha, Kashmina, Premi Chiru; Roja Devi, Sushmita Bardhan (Anushka Samuel 84th).

INDIA: Shreya Hooda; Jabamani Tudu, Thahenbi Devi Maharabam, Amrita Kumari (C), Anline Fernandes; Srijana Tamang, Nisha (Anushka Samuel 56th), Kashmina, Premi Chiru; Roja Devi, Daya Devi (Lifa Gama 76th).

19.10.2014:AIFF PRESS RELEASE : India came from a goal down to win 2-1 and in the process upset hosts Bangladesh's applecart in a Group B encounter of the AFC U-16 Women's Championship China 2015 (Qualifiers) here at the Bangabandhu Stadium in Dhaka on Sunday (October 19, 2014).

Riding high after two back to back wins against Jordan and UAE, the hosts were brought down to earth by India forward Roja Devi who scored a brace either side of halftime to guide India to their first win of the tournament. For Bangladesh, Sanjida scored the game's first goal. In the 63rd minute, Bangladesh full back Masura was sent off for a high challenge inside the box.

The victory saw India open their account with three points from two matches while Bangladesh remained on six from three matches. India next play wooden spooners UAE on Tuesday. Coach Rocky made one change to the team that lost to Iran, Bengal girl Sushmita Bardhan replacing the injured Daya Devi up front while it was an unchanged XI for the hosts.

It all started in the 20th minute when Krishna Rani – after being released by Sanjida – went down under a challenge from Anline Fernandes, with the referee pointing towards the spot right away. Sanjida steeped up and tucked the ball away neatly into the bottom left corner of India goalkeeper Shreya Hooda.

Nine minutes later, from almost similar circumstances Masura hacked down Sushmita Bardhan from behind after the striker - playing her first game in place of injured Daya Devi - was teed up by Premi Chiru.

From the resultant spot kick, Roja smashed home on the left of Bangladesh keeper Ayesha's goal. Either side of the two goals, both the teams had few chances. Premi came the closest to breaking the deadlock with the match just nine minutes old but she dragged her freekick from 25 yards inches wide.

Bangladesh's Bipasha and Sanjida exchanged passes before setting up Krishna who was just offside. Roja and Kashmina forced good saves from Ayesha before the break, while at the other end Sanjida threatened to double her tally. Action switched gears at the hour mark. Masura raised her right foot a tad too high on Premi for referee Katherine Margaret to give the full back marching orders despite remonstrations from the hosts.

Premi's ensuing free kick from 20 yards curled into Ayesha who could only just keep it out as far as a lurking Roja who did well to tap in the gift first time on the half volley and into the roof of the net. It was all India thereafter as Ayesha saved well from Roja's close range jab and then moments later tipped over one from substitute Daya Devi. Kashmina also missed narrowly from close with the match into added time.

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IRAN RALLY TO BEAT INDIA 2-1, HOSSEIMI BRACE DOES THE TRICK

17.10.2014: Iran 2-1 INDIA
IRN : Fatemeh Hosseni 71st, 87th
IND : Premi Chiru 13th
INDIA: Shreya Hooda; Jabamani Tudu, Thahenbi Devi Maharabam, Amrita Kumari (C), Anline Fernandes; Srijana Tamang, Nisha (Anushka Samuel 56th), Kashmina, Premi Chiru; Roja Devi, Daya Devi (Lifa Gama 76th).

17.10.2014:AIFF PRESS RELEASE : Iran left it late with two second half goals to script a 2-1 win over India in a high-voltage Group B encounter of the AFC U-16 Women's Championship China 2015 (Qualifiers) here at the Bangabandhu Stadium in Dhaka on Friday (October 17, 2014).

Iranian substitute Fatemeh Hosseni turned on the heat by scoring two late goals to overturn India's lead which they held on for better part of the match courtesy first half strike from India midfielder Premi Chiru. The win sees Iran consolidate their place at the top of the group while India will need to pick themselves up in the next match against hosts Bangladesh.

"The girls played well. But Iran were too good in the second half. They just had to score," conceded India Head Coach Maymol Rocky at the post match media interaction. I believe we can come back and this is just the first game. We need to keep focus for ninety minutes in the next game,” she added.

I spoke to my girls at halftime and told them India's weakness," revealed rival coach Shadi Mahini.We were tired in the first half but I am glad girls kept that aside and played so well in the second, she added.

If the first half belonged to India, the second was surely Iran's. After India had taken an early lead through Premi and help from rival goalkeeper Mobina, it took Iran 71 minutes to level. Substitute Hosseini did the magic and it was she again in the thick of things three minutes to full time, handing her side a memorable win. Iran did not tinker with the team that thrashed UAE 9-0 while it was India's first match.

India could have taken the lead as early as in the 5th minute. Nisha was put though by Roja Devi one on one with keeper Mobina who showed good presence of mind to not leave her line, acrobatically stretching to her right to cling on to the ball from handshaking distance. That India were hungry to take the lead was clear from Daya Devi's attitude. The Manipuri striker wrestled her way past two defenders as if her life depended on it, to find some space before being hacked down by one. The resultant free kick went straight to the keeper.

Good intentions were not made to wait much longer as India, for all their pressing and midfield coordination in the early minutes, surged ahead albeit riding luck. Goalkeeper Mobina who looked fish out of water after that fifth minute save, inexplicably passed the ball to Premi who not expecting the gift could not get her all behind the ball, resulting in the keeper recovering to get something on it. But so meek was her second effort that the ball slipped under her body and crawled into the goal.

Already on the charge, the goal spurred the girls in blue so much that they won three corners in the space of three minutes forcing Iran to deploy eight players in their own half. This is the same Iran that at most times did not even have two players in their own half in their opening match. Flailing Iran keeper who went down twice after the gaffe was eventually replaced in the 39th minute with second choice under the bar Sefati taking her place between the sticks. Mobina was taken to the hospital after complaining of sickness.

Iran's half was summed up by Ghasemi - scorer of four goals in the last match – skewing wide a chance from a good position inside the box. The second episode looked better for the red shirts but lacked climax until the 71st minute. Ghasemi tried to from a variety of positions near the box - first from just outside the box, then a lob from close and a close range jab - to score but found India pouring cold water on her plans all the time.

Better late than never, Iran's industry in the final third was rewarded. Substitute Fatehmeh Hosseini slalomed past three players including the keeper to guide the ball home. Five minutes later the same player missed by a whisker from close. By the high flying substitute was not to be denied moments from the final whistle. A lapse of concentration in midfield from India saw Sana latch on to the loose ball and set up Hosseini, who smashed in a stinging effort from inside the box.

23-MEMBER INDIA WOMEN'S U-19 SQUAD ANNOUNCED FOR AFC QUALIFIERS

 Indian U-19 Girls in AFC Cup

India to face Jordon tomorrow: CHILLY WINDS, RAIN GREET INDIA U-19 SQUAD IN AMMAN

04.11.2014: AIFF PRESS RELEASE : Chilly winds and rain greeted the Indian U-19 Women's Team as they landed in Amman on Monday (November 3) afternoon. Besides hosts Jordan, India have been clubbed with Uzbekistan and Lebanon in Group A with India beginning their campaign against Uzbekistan on November 5. As per AFC regulations, only the Group topper move onto the AFC U-19 Finals to be played in 2015 in China.

The Indian squad was given a Day's rest as they checked into the Hotel. The first practice session is slated for Tuesday (November 4). In the absence of a direct flight, the squad was forced to change flights from Ahmedabad to Mumbai to Bahrain from where they arrived in Amman. Head Coach Priya PV informed that the biggest challenge would be "acclimatize fast to the weather conditions."

"The Mercury has dipped to almost 15 degrees and chances stay it may get colder as we progress into the Tournament. The untimely rain has come as a big challenge," Priya told www.the-aiff.com. Even as the Weather forecast informs you that it would be sunny in the coming days, the locals, nevertheless, even went to the extent of saying that “it may snow in the next seven days.'

"It doesn't rain at this time of the Year. But when it does, it is normally followed by snowfall," an Official from the Jordan Football Federation quipped. Even as the Indian Team drove from the Airport to the Team Hotel, portions of waterlogged streets suggested that it has been raining in Amman for long.

THE SQUAD:

GOALKEEPERS: Tikina Samal (Odisha), Elangbam Panthoi Chanu (Manipur), Khiangte Lalhruaizeli (Mizoram).

DEFENDERS: Rachita Malik (Odisha), Ngangbam Sweety Devi (Manipur), Karam Tony Devi (Manipur), Komal Kumari (Bihar), Lalduhawmi (Mizoram), Dalima Chhibber (Delhi).

MIDFIELDERS: Yumkhaibam Hemolata Devi (Manipur), Sinulata Sahoo (Odisha, Kshetrimayum Margaret Devi (Manipur), Subburaj Muthu Selvi (Tamil Nadu), Nikhila Thumbayil (Kerala), Tanvi Singh (Delhi), Menaka Malik (Odisha), Sorokhaibam Ranjana Chanu (Manipur), Sangita Basfore (West Bengal).

FORWARDS: Sanju (Haryana), Pyari Xaxa (Odisha), Nongmaithem Ratanbala Devi (Manipur), Dangmei Grace (Manipur), Velanie Fernandes (Goa).

HEAD COACH: Priya PV (Kerala).

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 Indian U-19 Girls in AFC Cup

31.10.2014: AIFF PRESS RELEASE : Head Coach Priya PV has named a 23-member India U-19 Women's National Team squad for the AFC U-19 Women's Championship China 2015 (Qualifiers) starting November 5 in Jordan.

The Indian contingent who were camping in Ahmedabad for 45 days will be travelling to Jordan via Bahrain from Mumbai on Sunday night. India are in Group A along with hosts Jordan, Uzbekistan, and Lebanon .

The girls in blue will open their account on November 5 against Uzbekistan at the Petra Stadium in Amman, the capital of Jordan. All matches will be played at the same venue. The hosts will play India next on November 7 followed by Lebanon on November 9.
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05.11.2014: India U-19 0-2 Uzbekistan U-19
UZB : Kudratova – 20th and 36th

07.11.2014: India U-19 1-3 Jordan U-19
IND : yari Xaxa - 30th
JOR : Rasha Khawaled-8th, Nour Ayoub-56th, Lama Alomari-70th

09.11.2014: India U-19 3-1 Lebanon U-19
IND : Dangmei Grace 33', Pyari Xaxa 60', Sweety Devi 86'
LEB : Mariam Chehab 19'

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THE SQUAD:

GOALKEEPERS: Tikina Samal (Odisha), Elangbam Panthoi Chanu (Manipur), Khiangte Lalhruaizeli (Mizoram)

DEFENDERS: Rachita Malik (Odisha), Ngangbam Sweety Devi (Manipur), Karam Tony Devi (Manipur), Komal Kumari (Bihar), Lalduhawmi (Mizoram), Dalima Chhibber (Delhi)

MIDFIELDERS: Yumkhaibam Hemolata Devi (Manipur), Sinulata Sahoo (Odisha), Kshetrimayum Margaret Devi (Manipur), Subburaj Muthu Selvi (Tamil Nadu), Nikhila Thumbayil (Kerala), Tanvi Singh (Delhi), Menaka Malik (Odisha), Sorokhaibam Ranjana Chanu (Manipur), Sangita Basfore (West Bengal)

FORWARDS: Sanju (Haryana), Pyari Xaxa (Odisha), Nongmaithem Ratanbala Devi (Manipur), Dangmei Grace (Manipur), Velanie Fernandes (Goa)

HEAD COACH: Priya PV (Kerala)


India rally to beat Lebanon.

09.11.2014: India 3-1 Lebanon
IND : Dangmei Grace 33', Pyari Xaxa 60', Sweety Devi 86'
LEB : Mariam Chehab 19'

INDIA : Panthoi, Alduhawmi, Rachita, Dalima Chibber, Sweety Devi, Nikhila Thumbayil, Sangita (Homolata Devi - 39th), Sanju (Ranjana Chanu - 46th), Gangmei Grace, Pyari Xaxa, Menaka Malik (Margaret Devi - 66th).

09.11.2014: AIFF PRESS RELEASE : One from Dangmei Grace from about 30 yards and another one from Sweety Devi from around 35 yards provided the perfect icing on the cake as India finished their engagements with a 3-1 victory over Lebanon in their last Group A match of the AFC U-19 Women’s Championship China 2015 Qualifiers at the Petra Stadium in Amman on Sunday (November 9). Courtesy the victory, India ended on 3 points from same number of matches.

Apart from the two free-kicks, Pyari Xaxa scored the other after India were down by an early Mariam Chehab goal. For all the possession, domination, penetration for the entire 90 minutes, the India U-19 Women only managed to score thrice whereas it should have easily been many more, easily into double figures. Lebanon stayed content defending with 10-men, and at times even 11, depending on counter attacks. Mariam's goal came of such a counter when they earned a corner, their lone in the match and that was the sole time action happened inside India's 18-yard box.

Grace's goal had grace all over it. Her powerful grounder hoodwinked all and entered the net for India's equalizer in the 33rd minute. That apart, she played the perfect role in the hole, always staying the spare one, available for support. In the 38th minute, her header off a Sweety Devi corner bounced off the post and even as Dalima Chibber headed it in, it was cleared off the line and eventually gathered by rival Goalkeeper Hiba Almokhi.

India were creating chances but unable to convert, the perfect example being Pyari Xaxa who all in the clear and only Hiba to beat blasted it over. That was Pyari's second attempt in the three minutes as earlier with a sudden burst she had sped past Eliane Sfeir but failed to place it in with only Hiba to beat.

Changing over, there wasn't any change in the script. Lebanon stayed content with defending with 10 Players in their own half. The first corner was earned in the 47th minute itself and Pyari’s header off Sweety’s corner agonisingly sailed past the post. Pyari’s speed was creating all sorts of problems for the rival defence and with substitute Hemolata playing the perfect foil for Grace, India started to grow in confidence.

In the 76th minute, substitute Margaret Devi dribbled to enter the box but her placement missed by a whisker and the very next minute, Grace's low cross drew Hiba out of position but first Pyari, and then Margaret mistimed their placements - the ball rolling over to the other side. Another one went abegging in the 80th minute, this time Pyari and Grace failing to tap into an empty net after Margaret had done the spadework.

Nevertheless, Sweet ended it on a sweet note for India – her free-kick from 35 yards sailing over Hiba.

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07.11.2014: India U-19 1-3 Jordan U-19
IND : yari Xaxa - 30th
JOR : Rasha Khawaled-8th, Nour Ayoub-56th, Lama Alomari-70th
INDIA: Panthoi; Sweety Devi, Rachita, Dalima Chibber (Captain), Komal; Nikhila Thumbayil (Sinulata Sahoo - 75th), Sangita, Sanju, Gangmei Grace, Pyari Xaxa, Ratanbala Devi (Margaret Devi - 60th).

Rhythmic as they are the Arabic beats which kept one entertained from the stands all throughout will tempt you shake a leg. With the temperature dropping with every minute, and it being accompanied by a fresh spell of chill winds which will make you shiver to the spine, swinging to the beats was possibly was the best option in the stands. The other option obviously was to play Football yourself under the lights.

On the field, however, it wasn’t that rhythmic for India. Despite all of India’s domination all throughout, Jordan had the last laugh as they beat India 3-1 in the AFC U-19 Women’s Championship China 2015 Qualifiers at the Petra Stadium in Amman on Friday (November 7). The defeat, second in session, ring exit bells for India from the Championship.

All of Jordan’s three goals came of counter-attacks as the Indians were slow to recover after the high line of defence was beaten. Twice, they were split open as the rivals played over them to find the spare man overlapping. The story had stayed the same even in the first match against Uzbekistan.

One may try to explain about India’s possession but post final whistle, it never counts. History remembers scores and it stays stamped -- India lost 1-3. Inability to convert isn’t good Football; capitalizing three out of three, is.

In any case, India seized the momentum early and lashed a series of attacks on the rival citadel. After some time one have lost count of how many were earned. The domination was such that in the first half itself, by the 15th minute, Jordan were defending with nine in the box.

They, nonetheless, had surged into the lead by then. Much against the run of play, India’s high line of defence enabled Rasha Khawaled to beat the off-side trap, run ahead and slot it to the left of a diving Panthoi.

Stunned, India further went all out. But the jungle of legs prevented them from having a clear shot, the sole exception being Nikhila’s long-ranger which had rival Goalkeeper Malak Shannak stretched to the full in the 26th minute.

The equalizer seemed inevitable but India couldn’t earn it till them. Eventually India restored parity, also from a brilliant counter attack which started from their own box while defending one of Jordan’s rare corners. Rachita initiated the transition and fed Sanju on the left flank. Sanju sprinted past her marker and essayed a perfect cross which caught Malak in two minds. All Pyari had to do was to walk with the ball into an empty net. That apart, Pyari stayed underutilized as despite all the domination, play wasn’t stretched to the flanks in both the halves; in fact, to both the flanks. Immediately after resumption, India earned a free-kick down the right. The nimble footed Dangmei Grace, who constantly posed a threat was brought down by Rand Abu-Hussein. But the rival defence managed to thwart it off.

A couple of minutes later, Ratanbala Devi, all in the clear and with only Malak to beat shot wide; and the very next minute, even as Pyari tried to tap into an almost empty net, she slipped at the time of contact.

And it came back to hit quite painfully as Jordan, again against the run of play took the lead through Nour Ayoub in the 56th minute. The high line of defence led to the downfall again – this time too it was played between the defenders and Nour, who didn’t take a clue from India’s missed chances, tapped home.

The lesson, nevertheless, wasn’t learnt. Three minutes later, Ratanbala entered the box but failed to pierce the nail with Malak hopelessly out of position. Head Coach Priya PV brought in her first substitution – Margaret Devi coming in for Ratanbala. On the contrary, Jordan consolidated their lead through Lama Alomari in the 70th minute; and with the flanks being underutilized, India lost the plot thereafter. Jordan could have scored one more but in the 87th minute, Lana Feras’ shot hit the post with Panthoi beaten.

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05.11.2014: India U-19 0-2 Uzbekistan U-19
UZB : Kudratova – 20th and 36th
INDIA: Panthoi; Tony, Muthu Selvi (Sweety Devi - 55th), Dalima Chibber (Captain), Rachita; Nikhila Thumbayil, Sangita (Margaret Devi - 85th), Sanju, Gangmei Grace, Pyari Xaxa, Velanie Fernandes (Hemolata Devi - 62nd).

AIFF PRESS RELEASE : It was bright sunny in the morning and from nowhere the dark clouds appeared overhead an hour prior to the kick-off. And then, as the Teams marched in, it started to drizzle. In what was a match of two contrasting halves, India U-19 Women fought their heart out but went down to a superior Uzbekistan U-19 Women's Team in the opening match of the AFC U-19 Women's Championship China 2015 Qualifiers at the Petra Stadium in Amman on Wednesday (November 5).

If the first half was totally one-sided with Uzbekistan ruling roost right from kick-off, rival Goalkeeper Tilovova Laylo's reflexes denied India from equalizing in the second, and, maybe even running away with a victory. Uzbek Midfielder Kudratova, omnipresent, and operating from the hole scored a brace in the first-half itself to make the difference between the two sides, a lead which the rivals managed to hold on till the end.

In the first half, Indian Goalkeeper Panthoi stayed the busiest one on the field. Her anticipation and agility kept India alive in the match, the absence of which could have settled the issue for Uzbekistan in the first-half itself. Even in the second-half when the Indians dominated, Panthoi' presence under the bar made it impossible for the Uzbeks to increase their lead.

The moment it kicked-off, Uzbekistan pushed India into their own half, preferring to stretch it to the flanks, thus creating an open space from where Kudratova marshaled. They played it in the vacant spaces between the Defenders allowing space to manouvre. Nevertheless, it was India who earned the first corner in the 3rd minute itself but the Uzbeks managed to thwart it off. The other chance for India came in the 19th minute but Sanju's shot narrowly missed the mark after Pyari Xaxa had sped down the right flank to set it up for her.

Changing over, the Sun reappeared from behind the Clouds and the Indian Girls started on a brighter note. They activated the flanks and quite evidently the first chance came in the 48th minute but rival Goalkeeper Tilovova Laylo managed to palm off Sangita's powerful left-footer from close. Five minutes later, Laylo again came to her Team's rescue collecting Dalima's free-kick on the bounce.

Head Coach PV Priya brought in two changes - Sweety Devi coming in for Muthu in the 55th minute, and then in the 62nd minute, Hemolata Devi replaced Velanie Fernandes. Uzbekistan by then had recovered from India’s initial onslaught and depended more on counter-attacks. However, India again caught the Uzbek defence on the wrong foot when Dilnoza failed to read Panthoi’s clearance but just managed to recover in even as Sangita was all shaped up to pull the trigger.

Even as Uzbekistan began to tire a bit, India's easiest chance fell to Pyari after an overlapping Sangita found her in the clear. But Laylo stretched below to keep her effort at bay. The spring in the steps of the Indian Girls stayed till the end, evidence of which stayed Dalima's goal line clearance after Kudratova had tried to address it to the net. Dalima followed it up after Kudratova beat an onrushing Panthoi but the Indian Captain, following it up, cleared from the goalline.

Another chance fell in the 85th minute but Laylo once again stood tall - this time deflecting a powerful Dangmei Grace free-kick from the top of the box for another corner. If that wasn't enough, in the 88th minute, she anticipated in time to narrow the angle for Pyari but even as the latter evaded the former's outstretched hands, Central Defender Maftune perfected her slide in time to clear from the goalline.

Head Coach Priya PV lauded her girls for their fight. "Uzbekistan defended well. They won almost every aerial ball. But we had our chances and should have finished it off," she maintained at the Official post-match Press Conference.
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