Pyari Xaxa goal in vain as India suffer narrow defeat in Myanmar friendly

A second half equalizer from Pyari Xaxa went in vain as the Indian senior women's team suffered a narrow 1-2 defeat to hosts Myanmar in the first of their two friendly matches

A second half equalizer from Pyari Xaxa went in vain as the Indian senior women’s team suffered a narrow 1-2 defeat to hosts Myanmar in the first of their two friendly matches

In the first meeting between Myanmar and India after more than five years, the hosts scored both goals from set pieces. Tetsuro Uki’s side took the early lead courtesy of a header from Odisha FC’s Win Theingi Tun in the 14th minute. Although her club teammate Pyari Xaxa equalised for India with an opportunistic tap-in in the 58th minute, San Thaw Thaw converted May Thet Mon Myint’s free-kick in the 74th minute to win the game for Myanmar. Right-back Aruna Bag was handed her first start for India.

Myanmar pushed into fourth gear right from kick-off and went on the hunt for an early goal. Just six minutes in, Hemam Shilky Devi was required to make a vital clearance as she hacked away a dangerous cutback from Naw Htet Htet. Five minutes later, Phyu Phyu Win’s long-ranger was saved with ease by Elangbam Panthoi Chanu. However, soon after, the Indian custodian came out of her goal but failed to get a touch on the Myanmar defender’s curling corner as Win Theingi Tun arrived unmarked and headed it into the empty net to put the hosts ahead.

India were in the pursuit of an equaliser immediately and almost got one from their first corner in the 18th minute. Anju Tamang’s outswinging delivery was headed wide of the near post by Soumya Guguloth. A few minutes later, Soumya tried to feed Anju with a low cross, but goalkeeper Myo Mya Mya Nyein gathered the ball before the latter could arrive.

Striker Pyari Xaxa tried her luck from distance on two occasions, first seeing it go harmlessly wide before hitting it directly at Myo Mya Mya Nyein. On the Indian end, Myanmar continued to make Panthoi work. In the 42nd minute, she prevented the hosts from doubling their lead by making a solid one-on-one save to deny San Thaw Thaw.

India came out rejuvenated in their goal hunt in the second period. Head coach Langam Chaoba Devi brought on Karishma Shirvoikar in place of Sandhiya Ranganathan. And the Kickstart forward’s fast pace paved the path for the equaliser in the 58th minute. Receiving the ball from Naorem Priyangka Devi on the left, Karishma burst forward and fired at the goal with her left foot. Myo Mya Mya Nyein attempted to catch it but ended up spilling it onto the path of Pyari, who dispatched it first time into the roof of the net to make it 1-1.

While India produced more attacks than the hosts in the second half, they were unable to capitalise again. The Myanmar defence grew tighter as they committed more numbers at the back, while the Indian attackers were often found offside on multiple occasions.

Myanmar got their second goal from another dead-ball situation in the 74th minute. A low free-kick from May Thet Mon Myint caught the Indian defence napping as San Thaw Thaw was able to slip away and meticulously jink it over an onrushing Panthoi. The ball trickled into the empty net as the orange shirts were caught on the wrongfoot.

It could’ve gone worse for India had Panthoi not made another big save to deny Win Theingi Tun from close range in the 77th minute. That might’ve kept India in the game until the end, but Chaoba’s girls were unable to break open the Myanmar defence again despite their continued pressure. India will now look to regroup and correct the wrongs in the second friendly on Friday, July 12.

Myanmar (Win Theingi Tun 14′, San Thaw Thaw 74′) 2-1 India (Pyari Xaxa 58′)

Also Read: Mumbai City signs Daniel Lalhlimpuia

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