India go down 0-5 to Brazil in last group game | Football News – SportsMediaz

In bright orange shirts they emerged for the last time in a tournament once cancelled and for a country once suspended. Determination writ large, hair pulled back or worn in a close crop, India took on Brazil hoping they could salvage something from the under-17 women’s World Cup. It was not to be.

As Brazil, 5-0 winners on the night – the last three from range by Aline (51st minute) and two from Lara (86th and 90+3) so good that they could be contenders for the goal of the tournament − go to the quarter-final against Group B toppers Germany, India go home. After being away from families for most of the past eight months, training more than they ever have but to a future that is unclear.

USA’s Mia Bhuta will go to Stanford; Morocco players to their academies in Europe; Brazilians to clubs and academies once their journey ends in this competition. The Indians? Their future will likely be decided by the technical committee of the All India Football Federation (AIFF).

“If these wonderful girls can’t train here send them to academies abroad. I hope AIFF starts an academy where under-17, under-19 and Indian Arrows train together. They need eight-nine sessions a week regularly. You need the girls to play for 11 months. I can say that India has talent and with a proper programme, can be a power in Asia,” said head coach Thomas Dennerby whose contract runs out this year.

Gabi Berchon, who scored the first goal in the 11th minute, is with Internacional in Porto Allegre. Assist provider Aline, who bombed down the right so often that India swapped the taller Anita Kumari for Neha to help left-back Astam Oraon, is with Ferroviaria in Sao Paulo.

The way Carol combined with Aline, the way cut-backs were met by runners from midfield – like for the second goal scored by Aline in the 41st minute −was proof of the point Dennerby made one day prior: these decisions are taken instinctively because you have done them over the years in training and in games. An Indian thinks what to do when she has the ball. That is why the balls for Kumari were lobbed in hope; that is why Neha shot in haste when she broke through in the 30th minute.

We are small country, Dennerby said of Sweden. But we are No. 2 in the women’s rankings because by the time the girls serious about football are 14-15, they get nine to 10 sessions a week, he said.

But despite such a chasm, the Indians tried. To defend deep and run hard to keep their shape against a team that camped in their half. Dennerby encouraged them to not give up. And they did not. The way India evolved defensively in three games was commendable, said Brazil coach Simone Gomez Jatoba. As goalkeeper Melody Keisham broke down and was enveloped by Dennerby, India’s fight was acknowledged by cheers from those among the 8000 who stayed back till the end. It was acknowledgement that if India still leaked 17 goals in three games and scored none it was because the system failed them.

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