Indian women’s football team beat UAE in friendly to register first win of 2021

Manisha Kalyan, Pyari Xaxa, Sweety Devi and Anju Tamang scored as India won 4-1 against the lower-ranked Emirati side in Dubai.

By Naveen Peter
Picture by All India Football Federation

The Indian women’s football team began its tour of the Middle East with a 4-1 win over UAE in Dubai on Saturday.

Manisha Kalyan (20th minute), Pyari Xaxa (27th minute), Sweety Devi (41st minute) and Anju Tamang (75th minute) were the goalscorers for India in the closed-door friendly played at the UAE FA Stadium.

Ranked 57th on the FIFA rankings chart, the Indian women’s football team is preparing for the upcoming AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2022 which will be held in Mumbai and Pune early next year.

The win over the UAE (ranked 100th) was the first after five straight losses for the Indian football team this year. India lost to Serbia, Russia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Belarus in 2021 before the UAE clash.

This victory came after the Indian women's team played its first overseas friendly with Thomas Dennerby as the head coach.

India will take on the 77th ranked Tunisia on Monday at the same venue before heading to Bahrain for two more matches.

Meanwhile, with Sweden easing the restrictions on international travellers, the Indian women’s football team is likely to travel to the Scandinavian country as a part of their exposure tour to play friendly matches against a few teams from the Damallsvenskan League - Sweden’s top-tier women’s football league.