Venezuela v India

Women's Football: Dangmei Grace score in India's 2-1 loss to Venezuela

09:01 SAST 2021/12/02
India Women XI vs Hammarby IF
Thomas Denerby's troops failed to protect their lead as the South Americans roared back in the match...

The India women's football team went down 2-1 to Venezuela at the Arena da Amazonia on the wee hours of Thursday. Although Dangmei Grace put India ahead, two goals in the second half from Mariana (50') and Barbara (80') in the second half saw the South American nation run away with the three points.

It was expected to be a competitive match as Venezuela are just one step ahead in the FIFA rankings than India. However, right from the start, Venezuela started dominating and kept Aditi Chauhan busy under the sticks. Barabara was creating trouble for the Indian defenders with her incisive runs inside the box and it seemed that she would break the deadlock sooner than later.

But India did well to soak up the early pressure in the first 15 minutes. They started using the flanks to create chances and in the 17th minute, Ritu floated in an inch-perfect cross from a set-piece for Grace who made no mistake to head home the ball. After conceding the first goal Venezuela started attacking with more intent and purpose.

In the 35th minute, Chauhan was once again called into action when Gabriela Garcia fired a shot from the edge of the box and the keeper put her best forward to punch it over the bar. In the remaining 10 minutes of the first half, Venezuela kept raiding India's fort but the Blue Tigresses held their shape and went into the tunnel with their lead intact.

Venezuela started from they left off in the second half and in the 50th minute they finally got the equaliser through Mariana, who nodded the ball in from a corner. Dennerby reacted by making three substitutions and brought on Shily Devi, Kamala Devi, and Linthoingambi. Despite the changes, Venezuela continued with their fervent attacks and it was a task for India's defence to contain Mariana and Barbara. Their efforts finally paid off when the latter scored past Aditi in the 80th minute after a marauding run from the right side.

With this loss, India end their Brazil trip without a win in three matches. But the experience gained after playing higher-ranked teams will be useful for the Swedish manager in the upcoming AFC Women's Asian Cup 2022.