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File photo of the Indian senior women's national team practicing. (IANS photo)

NEW DELHI – The Indian senior women's team was held to a 1-1 draw in their second international friendly against Uzbekistan at the Yakkasari Stadium in Tashkent Sept. 2.

India took the lead early in the second half through forward Sandhiya Ranganathan, but the home side clawed back with a little over 10 minutes of regulation time left in the game, as Lyudmila Karachik equalised through a penalty.

It was a free-flowing game that ebbed and flowed both ways, as both the sides tried to break the deadlock. India forward Bala Devi had the first real chance of the match for the away side, as she lined up a free kick from close range. However, her effort went wide.

Dangmei Grace troubled the Uzbekistan defenders from the right wing, while goalkeeper Aditi Chauhan made some smart saves at the other end.

It was after the change of ends, however, that India found the breakthrough that they were looking for, as Bala raced forward and played Sandhiya through on goal as the latter converted the chance on the 52nd minute.

India almost doubled their lead a few minutes later, when Ranjana Chanu galloped down the left flank and whipped it in across the face of the goal. Unfortunately, nobody was present in the box to convert the chance.

Uzbekistan, however, kept probing at the Indian defense, and got their reward in the form of a 78th minute penalty that was converted by Karachik.

Daya Devi, who replaced Sandhiya in the second half, had a late chance to win it for India, but her shot from inside the area went wide of the goal.

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