Kalyani (West Bengal): The Alex Ambrose-coached Lionesses handed Panthers a 3-0 defeat in the opening match of the Hero U-17 Women’s Championship here Monday.
Sudha Tirkey (17th minute) shot into her own net before goals from Lynda Kom (35th) and Priyanka Sujeesh Pottekat (73th) saw the Lionesses claim full points.
The championship, organised by Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL), is aimed at helping build a team for next year’s FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, which the country is hosting.
Lionesses’ Sumati Kumari could have easily scored the first goal of the tournament inside six minutes but it was Panthers’ captain Sudha who had the misfortune of guiding the ball into her own net while trying to clear a cross from Sunita Munda.
The Lionesses were fluid on the pitch and the Subhash Chakraborty-coached Panthers could do little.
Lynda Kom, who starred for India in last month’s SAFF U-15 Women’s Championships with four goals chipped in a ball over Anjali Barke’s head after the goalkeeper fumbled, allowing Priyanka to set her up inside the box.
With newly-appointed India U-17 Women’s head coach Thomas Dennerby watching from the stands, Lionesses kept the momentum in the second half.
Priyanka was rewarded with a goal for the constant pressure she mounted on the Panthers’ defence but it was second-half substitute Daisy Crasto who had the chance of the evening as the Lionesses fell shy of scoring the fourth in the dying embers of the game.