Mumbai, Dec. 18:
India edged out Thailand 1-0 an enthralling last round-robin game of the U-17 three-nation football tournament here on Tuesday to book a place in the final.
The only goal of the match came in the 91st minute, through Kritina Devi and a bit of help from rival goalkeeper, Pawarisa Homyamyen. The mistake proved costly as her side was just four minutes away from making the final, but the goal ended its campaign.
A long ball from Devi was misjudged by the Thai goalkeeper, and the ball rolled into the goal. The hosts will play Sweden, against whom they had lost 0-3 in the league game, in the final on Thursday.
India had an early chance. Sumati Kumari ran from the left wing and played a through ball to Sunita Munda, whose shot was blocked by the Thailand backline. Then, on a rebound, striker S Lynda Kom unleashed a header, but that was easily saved.
In the 13th minute, Sumati beat the defense from the left flank and entered the penalty box, creating an opportunity for B. Mariyammal, but the mid-fielder failed to take a shot.
In the 19th minute, Thailand earned a free kick, but Kanchuda Phona”s shot was cleared by Purnima Kumari.
The hosts kept creating chances and another one came in the 31st minute. Sumati Kumari made a run towards the goal, and shot from the edge of the box, but it was safely collected. At the half-way mark, the two teams were locked at 0-0.
After the change of ends, India earned two free kicks, but failed to convert.