U-17 WC: USA humiliates India 8-0

The first US goal came from the hard work of Riley Jackson who dribbled past a couple of Indians on the right channel before sending a fine cross for Rebimbas to hit a volley.
India and USA players in action in the Group A contest
India and USA players in action in the Group A contest

BHUBANESWAR: India was overwhelmed by a formidable United States of America in its opening match of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup as it suffered a 0-8 thrashing in a lop-sided Group A match here on Tuesday.

The India team was toyed by a technically superior USA side, which was 4-0 up by the half-hour mark and 5-0 ahead at half-time. USA pumped in three more goals in the second session to hand India a humiliating defeat in front of a sizeable crowd at the Kalinga Stadium. The porous India defence, including captain Astam Oraon at the left-back position, leaked goal after goal while the home side could not even stitch a proper goal-bound move.

Melina Rebimbas scored a brace (9th and 31st minute) while Charlotte Kohler (15th), Onyeka Gamero (23rd), Gisele Thompson (39th), Ella Emri (51st), Taylor Suarez (59th) and Mia Bhuta (62nd) struck a goal each for the CONCACAF champions. The Americans had more than 70 per cent ball possession in the first half.

Head coach Thomas Dennerby made use of the full quota of five substitutes, but India could have just two shots in the whole match with none on target. The heavy defeat would put India in a difficult position to qualify for the quarter-finals with two matches left in the group stage – against Morocco (October 14) and title contender Brazil (October 17).

The first US goal came from the hard work of Riley Jackson who dribbled past a couple of Indians on the right channel before sending a fine cross for Rebimbas to hit a volley. Kohler then out jumped her Indian markers to score USA’s second goal with a powerful header.

Gamero punished the Indians for their defensive lapse in the 23rd minute before Rebimbas struck her second goal of the day as she fired in a left-footed shot from the edge of the box. USA right-back Thompson joined the party to make it 5-0 in the 39th minute and silence the home crowd.

Captain Bhuta, the first American of Indian heritage to play in a World Cup, provided a fine assist for Emri to head home in the 51st minute. Saurez later converted a penalty after an Indian defender brought Kohler down in the box. Just after the hour mark, Bhuta got her name on the scoresheet with perhaps the best goal of the match as she curled in a thunderous shot into the roof of the net.

Brazil had notched up a 1-0 win over Morocco in a Group A match played here earlier in the day. In a Group B match in Margao, Germany defeated Nigeria 2-1.

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