07.05.2019: AIFF PRESS RELEASE : Seventeen coaches including several prominent ex-international footballers participated in the first of three All India Football Federation (AIFF) Grassroots Leader Courses hosted in Imphal, Manipur and organized by Tata Trusts that concluded at the Eastern Sporting Union Ground on Sunday (May 5, 2019).


The four-day course, conducted by AIFF Instructors Shailesh Karkera and assisted by Kuntala Ghosh Dastidar, focused on coaching methodology at various youth age groups as well as Introduction to Futsal. Surkumar Singh, one of India’s most decorated footballers in recent memory reflected on his experiences over the four days of learning.

“These past four days have been an eye-opening experience for me personally. To understand how children behave at different ages and the methods used to train them was something I found fascinating. This course helped me immensely and in turn I hope that I can inspire and coach my kids to become better players,” he said.

Khelemba Singh - a Hero I-League winner with Salgoacar SC, one of the rare footballers to have donned the colours of both Kolkata giants East Bengal and Mohun Bagan, and current Technical Head of Tata Trusts in Manipur spoke about his experiences of the course.

“Having already attended the D and C License courses, I was not expecting the amount of knowledge and relevant content that this course provided and it was delivered to us by the instructors in a format which was very easy to understand. The Futsal session was very interesting because I was personally under the impression that it is easier to play Futsal since it is a small format but now I realize it is extremely demanding and you need to have a lot of technical ability to play the sport," he said. The course concluded with a Grassroots Football Festival that involved a total of 85 children engaging in a series of matches and technical workshops.


04.05.2019: : The AIFF 'D' coachig course conducted by IFA WB has ended today with 22 participants at Kancharapara Katagunj Dr. b.R. Ambedkar Sports Club Ground. The Course instructor was IAN LAW which start from 29th April. Amar Bose and Dinesh Gyan was the co ordinator deputed from IFA in the course.




04.05.2019: AIFF PRESS RELEASE : t’s that time of the year again! The Hero Indian Women’s League is back and the top female players of the country and from abroad are raring to go as the tournament is set to kick-off at the Guru Nanak Stadium in Ludhiana, Punjab on Sunday, May 5.

GROUP I : Rising Student’s Club.. Gokulam Kerala FC... FC Alakhpura... Hans Women’s FC ... Central SSB Women’s Football Team...Panjim Footballers.
GROUP II : Manipur Police SC -- Sethu FC -- Bangalore United FC -- SAI-STC Cuttack -- FC Kolhapur City -- Baroda Football Academy

Defending champions Rising Student’s Club kick-start the 2018-19 Hero IWL edition as they face-off against Gokulam Kerala FC on Sunday. As many as 12 teams, who are divided into two groups of six each, are set to participate in the tournament. Group I consists of Rising Student’s Club, Gokulam, FC Alakhpura, Hans Women Football Club, Central SSB Women Football Club and Panjim Footballers. Meanwhile, Group II consists of Manipur Police, Sethu FC Bangalore United FC, SAI-STC Cuttack, FC Kolhapur City, and Baroda Football Academy.

“Women's football in our country is going through an exciting phase. We have seen the Indian Women's Team produce some great results at the International front,” said All India Football Federation General Secretary Mr. Kushal Das. “We are sure to see the rise of more talented players in the third season of the Hero Indian Women's League. I would like to thank the Punjab Football Association for their support in hosting the IWL, and wish the participating clubs all the best for the tournament in Ludhiana,” he further said.

35 team squad announced by AIFF for upcoming u17 Women World Cup at India

The list of the 35 🇮🇳⚽ players for the upcoming Womens World Cup stay as follows:
GOALKEEPERS : Tanu, Thoudam Devi, Adrija Sarkhel, Manisha, Manju Ganju.
DEFENDERS : Purnima Kumari, Phanjoubam Devi, Sudha Tirkey, Antrika, Kritina Devi, Nisha, Daisy Crasto, Naketa, Kamna, Vaishnavi Chandrakant.
MIDFIELDERS : Martina, Aveka Singh, Priyanka Devi, Astam Orain, Anju, Poonam, Salomi Minj, Drishti Pant, Manisha, Priyanka Sujeesh.
FORWARDS : Kiran, Amisha Baxla, Mariyammal, Sumati Kumari, Manisha Naik, Lynda Kom, Shilky Devi, Sai Sanke, Lalnun Siami, Karen Estrocio.

GOALKEEPERS : Anjali Barke, Anshika.
DEFENDERS : Gia Sundaram, Lhingneilam Kipgen, Saraswati Kri, Shilpaben Thakur, Ritu, Fulmani Oran.
MIDFIELDERS : Ishita Mathew, Gladys Zonunsangi.
FORWARDS : Sanika Patil, Malavika P, Santoshi Kumari.

HEAD_COACH : Alex_Ambrose.


28.4.2019: AIFF PRESS RELEASE : All India Football Federation condoles the death of former India International Mr. Pungam Kannan who passed away in Kolkata earlier today (April 28, 2019). He is survided by his wife, and two daughters. Kannan who made his International debut in the Asian Cup qualifier in Rangoon (currently Yangon) against Cambodia on November 18, 1967, scored 2 goals in the 5 International matches he played. He was also a part of the Indian squad in the 1968 edition of the Merdeka Cup.

AIFF President, Mr. Praful Patel in his message said: “It is sad to hear that Mr. Kannan is no more. His contribution to Indian Football will never be forgotten. I share the grief.” AIFF General Secretary, Mr. Kushal Das said: “Mr. Kannan will be alive in his achievements. He has been the inspiration of so many Footballers. May He Rest in Peace.”

At the domestic level, he won the Santosh Trophy for Mysore in 1965, and then was part of the triumphant Bengal squads in 1966, 1971, and 1972. At the club level, he had the rare honour of representing the ‘Big Three’ – Mohun Bagan (for seven years), and East Bengal and Mohammedan Sporting for one year each, winning many laurels in the process. During his tenure with club football, he scored 84 goals for Mohun Bagan, 14 goals for East Bengal, and 12 goals for Mohammedan Sporting.

Besides, he also played for Universal Club, Chennai, and Howrah Union.


26.04.2019: Doru Isac has been appointed as the new Technical Director of Indian Football team. Isac has been appointed after Scott O Donnel resigned in 2017. This was intimated by All India Football Federation after technical committee headed by Shyam Singh Thapa short listed the name of the Romanian coach suitable for the post.

The Technical committee had a telephonic interview on Monday and finally decided to recommend the name of Isac out of the three short listed candidates. Doru Isac overcame the challenge of Jorge Castelo of Portugal and Gaioz Darsadze of Georgia in the final lap and are not set to take the charge of the Indian Football team.

The 56 years old Doru Isac signed an agreement for three years with AIFF. Isac is an experienced manager, who worked under Arsene Wenger at Japan from 1997 to 2002. He had an exposer to work with Carlos Queiros at Real Madrid as well as in various Asian countries.

Isac will primarily be in charge of the youth development and will spot the young talents in different age group tournaments. He will going to decide and adopt the strategies even in the Indian senior national team. The Technical Committee will now finalise the chief coach of Indian national team within the middle of May.


AIFF PRESS RELEASE 26.04.2019 : Keeping an eye on the preparation of the AFC U-16 Qualifiers slated to be held later this year, the Indian U-15 boys National Team departed for Italy for an exposure tour where they will be playing against the likes of USA, Mexico, and Slovenia in the MU-15 Championship.

The schedule of India U-15 National Team in the MU15 Tournament is as follows :
April 28: USA v India // April 29: Mexico v India. // April 30: Slovenia v India.
Boys born on or after January 1, 2004 are a part of the group, and are being coached by Bibiano Fernandes, who had guided the U-15 colts to the quarterfinals of the AFC U-16 Championship in Malaysia 2018. They were a match away from a direct qualification into the FIFA U-17 World Cup, but eventually went down to Korea Republic by a solitary goal.

“We had good success with the previous batch, and are looking to build a similar setup this time too,” Bibiano said. “USA, Mexico, and Slovenia are big teams. It will be good for the boys to play against such developed sides. We conducted trials throughout the country and scouted boys from different parts like Kohlapur, Goa, Kerala, Mizoram, Manipur,” he added.

The coach believes that although his team is shaping up well, the boys still need to work on their basics. “We still have to work on the basics on a few areas. But the boys are learning quickly,” said Bibiano. “From having the previous team to building a new one, it's been quite a learning curve for me as a coach as well.” Bibiano mentioned that with the previous batch having practiced alongside each other for a long time, it facilitating building formidable a team chemistry.

“The previous team was together for quite some time, so they were already ready. Right now, we are still looking for some positions,” Bibiano informed. “We have called up more boys who will be joining us after this tournament.” Six boys from last season’s U-16 team including Rohit Danu, Vikram Partap Singh, Gurkirat Singh were part of Indian Arrows’ Hero I-League campaign in the 2018-19 season. Danu went on to score 4 goals, becoming the youngest-ever goal-scorer in I-League history, while Vikram netted one.


AIFF PRESS RELEASE 25.04.2019 : Among the various teams competing at the ongoing Hero Junior Girls' National Football Championships 2019-20, one team that has certainly caught the eye is Himachal Pradesh. Playing an exciting brand of football, the young girls have won their first two matches – scoring nine goals in all and conceding none. caught up with Mr. Deepak Sharma, the General Secretary of the Himachal Pradesh Football Association and AIFF Executive Committee member, who talked about the development of the sport in the state and the upcoming FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup among other things. EXCERPTS:
Q : The Himachal Pradesh team has been excellent so far in the Junior Nationals. What are your thoughts on their performance?
A : Our team has a new vigour and the way they have performed, I am sure they can go all the way. With the quarterfinals now coming up, all teams will be well-matched and each match will be a tough one. We have made our plans for our opponents and with the fighting spirit and never-say-die attitude of our girls, we have a good chance of making it to the final and even winning.

Q : As compared to some others, Himachal Pradesh is not known as a 'footballing state'. What are the challenges faced by you and what is the work being done to develop the sport?
A : There are a few problems that we encounter as a result of the mountainous terrain in the state – such as long commutes between places and a lack of proper pitches. However, we are working with the state government and authorities and plan to develop four stadiums in the coming years in the state. We have an academy in Khad, where 60-70 girls train and every month, we are also conducting license courses for coaches and are working hard on all aspects. It will take time for professional football to develop but our results in tournaments such as the Hero Santosh Trophy have been promising and players such as Vishal Kaith, who has played for the senior national team, have also come up from here.

Q : What will be the impact of India hosting the FIFA Women's U-17 World Cup next year?
A : I feel that the announcement has energised the footballing fraternity in our country. Being hosts, we have a chance to put up a great show for the world to see and also raise the level of women's football in India. I am sure the team will do well and make us proud. It's an honour for the AIFF as well as the state associations to be a part of such an event. We already have the experience of organizing one FIFA World Cup and we have to build on that.

Q : Are there any special plans in place for the World Cup?
A : After the Junior Nationals are over, we have plans to bring in foreign coaches from Holland to help the players and improve them technically as well as physically. We aim to organize as many camps as possible for the benefit of the players and provide a strong pool of talent to choose from.


24.04.2019 : GFA PRESS RELEASE : The AFC Goalkeeping Level 1 Course was inaugurated by GFA President Mr. Churchill Alemao at Fatorda on Monday.
Mr. Alemao appealed to the 22 participants including three from Goa, five from Karnataka, four from West Bengal, three from Kerala, five from Maharashtra and one each from HP and Pondicherry attending the six-day in-house course organized by the AIFF in collaboration with GFA, to take maximum benefit of the training to upscale the skills and techniques needed so that India can have goalkeepers of high caliber, comparable to the best of Asia and eventually the world in future.

“Goalkeeping is the most specialised position in football. The primary role is to prevent the opposing team from scoring and they enjoy a special status in the penalty area,” Churchill remarked.

Churchill pointed out that the trainees were indeed lucky to be coached by an expert from Malaysia, Yong Wai Hwang who is the AFC Course Instructor. The well experienced coach who has a vast experience in this field is a Goalkeeping Level 3 Instructor which is the highest level certificate by the AFC. He is being assisted by Gumpe Rime and Dinesh Nair from AIFF. The Course is being coordinated by Genevieve Colaco. The organizational management is being done by the GFA with Lourenco Pereira of GFA being the local coordinator

MFA Women's League 2019 - GSA ITI Veng are the champions

📍RESULT: Maubawk Women's FC 1-3 GSA ITI (Zairemmawii 35') (Lallungmuani 55' Lalremruati 62' Ruthy Lalrinmawii 70+4)
MFA Women's League 2019 - GSA ITI Veng are the champions
24.4.2019: MFA PRESS RELEASE : The inaugural Mizoram Football Association Women's League was concluded today with GSA ITI Veng becoming the first ever MFA Women's League champions. They overcame Maubawk Women FC in an entertaining final encounter with three second half goals ensuring a spirited comeback after going a goal down.
Champions: GSA ITI Veng - Trophy + Rs 50,000
Runner Up: Maubawk WFC - Rs 25,000
Semi Finalists: Vakiria FC & Chanmari WFC - Rs 10,000 each
5th position: Siaha DFA - Rs 80,00
Fair Play Award: Vakiria FC - Rs 10,000

Individual Prizes
Top Scorer: Grace H Lalrampari, Vakiria FC
Best Goalkeeper: Lalmuanawmi, Maubawk WFC
Best Defender: K. Lalruatfeli, Vakiria FC
Best Midfielder: PC Lalduhthlani, GSA ITI Veng
Best Forward: Lalnuntluangi, Vakiria FC
The champions bagged a prize of Rs. 50,000 along with the prestigious Women's League trophy. Maubawk Women FC took the lead just before halftime through semifinal heroine Zairemmawii whose brace in the last four sank league leaders Vakiria FC. GSA ITI Veng started the comeback through Lallungmuani on tbe 55th minute and took the lead seven minutes later after Maubawk Women FC failed to deal with a corner delivery properly.

Ruthy Lalrinmawii then sealed the win in stoppage time for GSA ITI Veng taking advantage of a mishap at the back from Maubawk. The inaugural season of Mizoram Women's League have five teams participating who played against each other twice. The top four team played a semi final knock out match and then the final.

AFC goal keeping COURSE IN GOA

13.04.2019 : GFA PRESS RELEASE : The All India Football Federation (AIFF) and the Goa Football Association (GFA) will conduct an AFC Goalkeeping Level 1 Course from April 22-27 in Goa, in a quest to produce able goalkeeping coaches, who in turn will help develop stellar goalkeeping talents. The Level 1 course is a basic goalkeeping course for a goalkeeping coach, and is followed by the Level 2 course, which further zooms in on the technicalities in the field of goalkeeping.

In all, 24 participants from all over India including four from Goa will attend the course which will be held at Don Bosco Fatorda grounds, Fatorda, Margao. Mr. Yong Wai Hwang from the AFC will be the main course Instructor and he will be assisted by Mr. Gumpe Rime and Mr. Dinesh Nair from the AIFF. Details may be obtained from Genevieve Colaco, AIFF Development Officer with GFA, Panjim. This is the fourth course being coordinated by the Goa from November 2018.


AIFF LEAGUE COMMITTEE MEETS IN BHUBANESWAR 13.4.2019: AIFF League Committee today sit at Bhubaneswar to decide certain issues. The meeting was chaired by Subrata Dutta, Senior Vice President, AIFF and chairman League Committtee. The other officials who were present in the meeting, I League CEO Sunanda Dhar, B K Roka, Chirag Tanna and Rochak Langer, Rahul Mascarenhas, Chairman, Legal Advisory Committee and Vece Paes, Chairman, Sports Medical Committee.

The Hero I-League 2018-19 match between Real Kashmir FC and Minerva Punjab FC scheduled on February 18, 2019 was to be rescheduled later as per the decision taken by the Emergency Committee. Both the teams have communicated to AIFF that they agree to share one point apiece and the same was approved by the League Committee in today’s meeting. Hence, Real Kashmir FC finish their campaign third on the points table with 37 points from 20 matches whereas Minerva Punjab FC will wrap up in the ninth position with 18 points having played the same number of matches..... I-LEAGUE TABLE NOW

The AIFF Integrity Officer conducted a thorough investigation on the Hero I-League match between Chennai City FC and Minerva Punjab FC. Thee matter was investigated from all angles and relevant documents were collected and persons were examined. The AIFF Integrity Officer didn’t find anything against the integrity of the game and there is nothing to suspect about the true spirit of the game. The committee accepted his views.

he committee deliberated upon withdrawal of the Hero I-League clubs from Hero Super Cup 2019 relying upon the relevant clauses/sections of Hero I-League participation agreement and Hero Super Cup regulations. The committee unanimously decided to refer the matter to the Disciplinary Committee.

It was decided that TW3 method of bone-age determination will be implemented for the Sub-Junior National Championship next season onward. Meanwhile, the Committee decided that the eligibility to participate in upcoming Hero Sub-junior and Junior League 2019-20 season will be a bone-age rating upto 13.4 and 15.4 years respectively, received under the AIFF BADP Guidelines.

Goa’s former sportspersons meet again on Sunday

12.04.2019 - DEMPO SC PRESS RELEASE :The Association for the Wellbeing of Elder Sportspersons (AWES) will organise its third annual get-together which will see former players, officials, administrators and media come under one roof and relive the glory days. For the last two years, former sportspersons have been gathering once every year to meet their teammates and compatriots with whom they share wonderful memories.

In 2017, only former footballers gathered under one roof at Goa Velha for the first-ever get-together, but since last year when everyone met at Agasaim, players and officials from different sports disciplines met and exchanged memories.The third get-together, the only such initiative and gathering in the state, will be held at the BPS Sports Club in Margao on April 14, 11am onwards.

“It’s always nice to see our former greats come together. This time are expecting even bigger attendance,” said AWES president Avertano Furtado. At the get-together, will also felicitate the Goan teams who won the National Football Championship for the first time as joint winners in 1983 and then outright for the first time in 1984.

Most players who were part of those two Santosh Trophy winning teams will attend the felicitation function. “The Santosh Trophy is a tournament that remains close to the heart of all Goan football fans. I remember how proud we all felt when Goa won the Santosh Trophy for the first time. It’s time for us to honour our heroes,” said Furtado.

Goa finished joint winners alongside hosts Bengal in 1983 when two days of football could not produce a winner. Packed with internationals, Bengal were the favourites playing at home, but Goa measured up to the challenge to force a famous draw. The next year, Goa won the Santosh Trophy outright for the first time as Camilo Gonsalves scored the goal that gave Goa the trophy against Punjab in Madras.

2020 Olympic AFC Women Qlf -> PAGE REFRESH
09.04.2019:(M-3)INDIA WOMEN 3-3 MYANMAR WOMEN (90+4 FT.)
IND: Sandhiya 10', Sanju 32', Ratanbala 64'

IND: Linthoingambi, Sweety, Jabamani, Ashalata, Sangita, Ratanbala, Sanju, Grace, Indumathi, Dalima, Sandhiya

INDIA WOMEN <b><font color=red> 3-3 </b> </font> MYANMAR WOMEN
AIFF PRESS RELEASE : On a stage where the Indian Senior Women’s National Team had to secure nothing less than a win, the Maymol Rocky coached team with an average age of just 21, showcasing class, composure, tenacity, and maturity to be held 3-3 by hosts Myanmar at the Mandalar Thiri Stadium here today (April 09, 2019).

Courtesy the result, India despite finishing on level points with Myanmar (7 points from 3 matches) in Group A, bowed out of the Olympic Qualifiers due to an inferior goal difference of +4, in comparison to Myanmar’s +8.

Sandhiya had given the Indian women an early lead in the 10th minute but a hat-trick from Win Tun for Myanmar (17’, 21’, 72’) held India, as Sanju’s 32nd minute strike and Ratanbala Devi’s 64th minute goal couldn’t help gather three points. The Indian women, ranked 62, displayed their intentions to grab the match by the scruff against Myanmar, ranked 42 in the FIFA ladder.Sanju coming close to giving India the lead as early as the 2nd minute when her shot from close range, off a Dangmei Grace cross, went out for a corner.

The women had to wait eight minutes more before surging into the lead. In the 10th minute, Ratanbala burst out on the right flank, and released a low cross for Sandhiya Ranganathan, who made no mistake to finish from inside the box giving India the lead.The lead, however, was short-lived as Myanmar scored two goals in five minutes. First, in the 17th minute, Win Tun’s header from inside the box equalized the deficit for the opponents.Four minutes later, Myanmar took the lead from the spot. Goalkeeper Linthoi Devi dived to her right to save the penalty, but Win Tun lurching around scored off the rebound to make it 2-1 for the hosts.

The Indian women fought for every inch on the pitch. They stayed willing to put their bodies on the line, and committed to every play. The hard work down the flanks, and in the midfield bore fruit in the 32nd minute.Myanmar goalkeeper May Nwe fluffed her lines and made a howler of a clearance that fell to Ratanbala Devi, who chested it down for Sanju. Making little mistake, Sanju buried her chance in the back of the net to level proceedings as both teams headed to the interval at 2-2.

In the second half, Myanmar dominated the opening minutes, and the Indian defence had to shut the opponents with some astute defending. Sweety Devi’s perfectly timed tackle on Win Tun showcased the maturity displayed by the young team with an average age of just 21.In the 64th minute, Ratanbala Devi turned the tide for India. The midfielder cut into the box from the right flank and unfurled a curling shot which crashed into the back of the Myanmar net leaving the opponent custodian dumbfounded, giving India the lead as the scoreline read 3-2.

Eight minutes later, Win Tun completed her hat-trick, finishing from close range to equalize Myanmar’s deficit.India could have sealed the fate in the 76th minute when Sanju ran clear of the defensive mix, but the Myanmar custodian made a world-class reflex save from close range to tip her shot over the bar. A minute later, Dangmei Grace burst through but this time the custodian put her body on the line to shield the ball.

06.04.2019:NEPAL 1-3 INDIA (FT)
INDIA : Punam (og, 6'), Sandhiya 59', Ashalata (p 79')
NEPAL : Niru Thapa 7'

IND: Linthoingambi, Sweety, Jabamani, Ashalata, Sangita, Ratnabala, Sanju, Grace, Indumathi, Dalima, Sandhiya.
NEP : Anila, Punam, Hira, Renuka, Sabita, Anita, Gita, Rinu, Manmaya, Manjali, Dipa

NEPAL  <b><font color=red> 1-3 </b> </font> INDIA

AIFF PRESS RELEASE : The Indian women’s national team defeated Nepal 3-1 in their second group stage match of the Olympic Qualifiers Round 2 at the Mandalarthiri Stadium in Mandalay, Myanmar today (April 06, 2019) to go top Group A with six points out of two matches, with hosts Myanmar to play later in the day against Indonesia.

A Punam Magar own goal gave India the lead in the 6th minute which was subsequently cancelled out by Niru Thapa’s strike in the 7th. However, Sandhiya Ranganathan’s header in the 60th minute and skipper Ashalata Devi’s 78th-minute penalty led India to a hard-fought win, grabbing three crucial points in Group A.Speaking after the match, skipper Ashalata Devi said, “We wanted to win this match and I am happy that I could contribute for my team with a goal. Nepal are always a tough opponent to face so this win is all the more sweeter.”

“We are very happy to go into the last match (against Myanmar) on a winning momentum and now our focus shifts towards that," added Sandhiya Ranganathan.The Indian women had spared little time in pleasantries and switched on their attacking mode from the fire whistle. With Grace and Sanju on the wings terrorizing the opposition defenders, the first few minutes of the match played out in India’s favour with a goal coming in the 7th when Nepal’s Punam Magar slid the ball into her own net after a cross from Sanju to give India the advantage.

But caught off-guard, the Indian defenders were left reeling after Niru Thapa equalized, tapping home from inside the box, in the next minute itself to level proceedings. Sanju hit the post from inside the box in the 9thminute as the Indian women looked to regain their lost lead. Ratanbala Devi had a golden chance to give India the lead again in the 25th minute but her header off a Sanju cross went inches past the goal.

With end-to-end action enveloping the early minutes of the match, the game evolved into a battle for possession in the midfield with the Indian midfielders dominating and the opponents relying on counter-attacks.The Indian women aimed to continue their momentum in the second half of dominating possession and in the 48th minute Sandhiya’s shot from close range after Ratanbala Devi had slid her onto goal was easily collected by the opposition custodian.

In the 58th minute, Dalima Chhibber attempt to slyly tuck a curling shot into the corner of the net from inside the box but her attempt which inches wide of the goal as Nepal survived another Indian attack. A minute later, Ratanbala was found inside the box by Grace’s low cross but her attempt resulted in a weak shot that was subsequently swept for a corner.From the resulting corner, Sandhiya made clean contact and headed home from close range to give India the lead as the scoreline read 2-1.

Spurred by the sudden Indian goal, Nepal tried to commit bodies in attack and look for a way to equalize proceedings. Attempts by Sabitra Bhandari and Dipa Rai went inches away from the Indian bar. Some resolute defending in the latter stage of the match by the centre back pairing of Sweety and skipper Ashalata Devi, saw the match out for India and the skipper herself got on the scoresheet, converting a penalty in the 78th minute to double India’s lead as the full-time scoreline read 3-1.

IND : Grace 28', 67'
IND: Linthoingambi, Sweety, Jabamani, Ashalata, Sangita, Ratanbala, Sanju, Grace, Indumatihi, Dalima, Sandhiya

INDIAN WOMEN  <b><font color=red> 2-0 </b> </font> INDONESIA WOMEN
AIFF PRESS RELEASE : The Indian Women’s National Team took bold steps towards the 2020 Olympics Tokyo after registering a 2-0 win over Indonesia in their first match of the Qualifiers Round 2 for women’s football at the Mandalarthiri Stadium in Mandalay, Myanmar today (April 03, 2019). Dangmei Grace’s brace (27’, 67’) proved to be the difference between the two teams in a match largely dominated both in terms of possession and chances created by Maymol Rocky’s wards.

Speaking after the match, Maymol informed that, “We wanted to start our qualifying campaign on a winning note and we have done so. Indonesia proved to be tough opponents that committed bodies in defence but we found a way to gather three points” It is important to keep the winning momentum alive and we were able to do so. We are taking one match at a time and our focus shifts on our next opponents Nepal (on April 06)”, she added.

Keeping their winning momentum alive after the success of their 5th consecutive SAFF title win, the Indian women spared little and heaped pressure on the opponents from the opening minute. Some crafty work down the wings by Sanju and Ratanbala Devi proved to wreak havoc on the opposition defence that were unable to read the play of the Indian women between the lines. Sanju’s cross in the 24th minute caused chaos in the Indonesian defence with one defender almost turning it into an own goal, before clearing the lines.

Sandhiya’s run in the 26th minute, after she was found by Sanju left a trail of Indonesian defenders in her wake – sidestepping one and casually rolling the ball into the space to create a shot, beating another. Her stinger of a shot from inside the box was saved by the Indonesian custodian Riska Julianti but Dangmei Grace applied the finishing touches from close range to give India the lead in the 27th minute.

The India defence made quick work of any Indonesian counterattacks to equalize deficits with goalkeeper Linthoingambi Devi not being tested once under the sticks as India led 1-0 at half-time. India’s momentum continued in the second half with little difference in the attacking tempo. Ratanbala Devi’s shot from distance in the 56th minute earned an uncanny save from the Indonesian goalkeeper as she fluffed a routine collection. Three minutes later Dangmei Grace failed to score from close range after Sanju found her with a rasping cross that bewildered the Indonesian defence line.

In the 67th minute, Dangmei Grace once again applied the finishing touches to a shot from Sumithra Kamaraj that was haphazardly parried away by Riska Julianti and fell in front of her, to double India’s lead. With the Indian defence extinguishing whatever the Indonesian forwards could cajole, the midfield dominated possession and kept Indonesia on their toes, chasing the ball. The full-time scoreline read 2-0 in favour of India as the women take pole position in Group A of the Olympic Qualifiers Round 2.