India lose 0-8 to Korea in AFC U17 women's Asian Cup Qualifiers
Korea cruises to victory in AFC Qualifiers Opener with captain's hat-trick
A lacklustre India were hammered 0-8 by Korea in their opening match of the AFC U-17 Women's Asian Cup Qualifiers Round 2 on Tuesday, 19 September.
Coach Priya PV's girls found the going tough against the mighty Koreans, one of the finest teams in the competition.
Korea Republic led 2-0 at the break. While a hat-trick by skipper Won Jueun, who scored two of her goals from spot kicks, was the highlight of the day, Seo Minjeong Park Juha and substitute Han Gukhee were the other scorers.
An own goal by Shivani Toppo further widened the margin.
India head coach Priya PV had her plans firmly in place as she stressed more on defensive strategies for obvious reasons.
After defending stoutly for 13 minutes, a momentary lapse cost India dear as they conceded the first goal.
Centre back Thoibisana Chanu, who till then showed all the resoluteness to keep the attackers at bay, swung her leg in an attempted clearance that turned out to be a mis-kick. It was then easy for Park Juha to step onto the edge of the box to find the net with a low shot. Indian goalkeeper Khushi Kumari had no answer.
India displayed urgency after being left in arrears and had an opportunity to hit back in the 17th minute when captain and midfielder Menaka Devi played quickly with Sibani Devi on the right, but the resultant aerial ball was too much for Shilji Shaji to go for a proper header.
The gap between the teams widened in the 28th minute when Sonibia Devi Irom was pulled up for a foul on Won Jueun inside the dreaded area. Jueun took the shot that beat Khushi Kumari hands down.
The third goal, which came a couple of minutes after the change of ends, was Won Jueun's second of the day. She made most of a through pass from Beom Yeju to make it 3-0.
She completed her hat-trick in the 65th minute, almost immediately after India replaced Khusi Kumari with Khambi Chanu Sarangthem under the bar.
Eleven minutes later, substitute Han Gukhee slammed in the fifth for Korea.
India's best chance came two minutes before half time when striker Sulanjana Raul stole the ball on the left, dashed into the box and, finding the Korean custodian out of position, took a prompt shot. Woon Sumin saved her citadel at the last moment as she managed to tip the ball over.