BHUBANESHWAR: Hosts India were off to a dismal start to their FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup campaign as they went down 8-0 against the United States of America (USA) on Tuesday.
As hosts, India earned an automatic qualification in Group A and are one of three debutants in the event, along with Morocco and Tanzania (Group D).
Riley Jackson, the Golden Ball winner of the U-17 CONCACAF Championship led the attack for USA as she set up the opening two goals when Melina Rebimbas and Charlotte Kohler respectively converted her crosses.
The home side began to panic following an early attack launched by the strong American forwards and gaps began to emerge in their defence.
In the 26th minute, Onyeka Gamero snatched goalkeeper Anjali Munda’s pass to centre-back Purnima Kumari, who subsequently beat Anjali to make it 3-0.
Riley then passed the ball to Melina, who blasted it into the net with her second touch.
Minutes before half-time, Olivia Thompson entered the Indian box and took a well-calculated shot at near post and enhancing USA’s lead to 5-0.
USA captain Natalia Astrain then decided to test the bench strength of her side as she replaced Riley Jackson with Mia Bhuta in midfield.
Six minutes into the second half, Mia assisted Emri Ella to make it 6-0, while Taylor Suarez scored from the penalty spot to establish the record for the USA’s biggest win in tournament history.
Mia’s 62nd-minute strike then turned out to be a cherry on top for the USA when she buried the ball into the net with a left-footed curler from outside the box.
Meanwhile, India failed to net a single goal in the one-sided clash.
In the Group B match between Germany and Nigeria, the former came back from a goal down in the first half to win 2-1.
Four minutes into the second half, Svea Stoldt guided a corner strike as it sneaked through the Nigerian defence and neutralized the latter’s lead.
12 minutes later, Mara Alber then put her side into the lead that lasted till the final whistle and completed her side’s astounding comeback after a frustrating start.
The action-filled tournament is being telecasted live on Pakistan’s first HD Sports channel – A Sports and is simultaneously streamed on the digital platform of ARY Digital Network – ARY ZAP in crystal clear HD quality.