BHUBANESWAR: India ended its FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup campaign with an all-loss record and without scoring a goal as it suffered a 0-5 defeat to formidable Brazil in its last group match here on Monday.
Debutant India had lost to the USA (0-8) and Morocco (0-3) in its earlier Group A matches. The home team finished last in the four-team group without any point while conceding 16 goals in three matches. Brazil and the USA, which beat Morocco 4-0 in the other Group A match in Margao, qualified for the quarter-finals with seven points each – two wins and a draw. Morocco came third in the pool with three points.
Aline (40th and 51st minute), who was a constant threat to the India defence with her pace and guile, and substitute Lara (87th and 90th) scored a brace each after Gebi Berchon had given the South American champion a 1-0 lead in the 11th minute.
Brazil had overwhelming possession and more than a dozen shots on target as against one from the host nation. With nothing to lose and only playing for pride, the Indians did put their best foot forward, but it was not enough on the night.
After her attempt went just a few inches wide off target in the ninth minute, Berchon made amends as she came up with a clinical finish, connecting a fine cross from the right by Ana Flavia, who dodged past India captain and left wing-back Astam Oraon.
India striker Neha had a chance to equalise in the 30th minute after she was left with just the goalkeeper to beat. But, her shot was feeble and did not create much problem to Brazil custodian Leilane. Meanwhile, India goalkeeper Keisham Melody was called into action in the 33rd minute when she saved a shot from Alice.
The relentless attacks from the Brazilians bore fruit in the 40th minute when Aline beat a diving Melody after Flavia brilliantly sent a low cross from the right.
The second half was no different as the Indians sat back to defend their citadel while the Brazilians mounted attack after attack. The visitor struck two brilliant goals from long range to settle the issue. First, Aline curled in a powerful right-footer into the top left corner of the Melody’s goal in the 51st minute.
Just three minutes before the end of regulation time, Lara fired in a shot from outside the box to beat Melody all ends up for the fourth goal. Lara then completed her brace in the third minute of the added time.