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A first half goal by Sasmita Malik was cancelled out by a Caro strike from the spot in the 47th minute, as both the sides end their campaign with a point each...

India played out a 1-1 draw against hosts Palestine in their last Group D encounter of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup (Qualifiers) at the Faisal Al Huseni Stadium in West Bank on Saturday

Hosts Palestine rode on striker Caro’s 47th minute spot kick to successfully hold dominant India to a 1-1 draw after Sasmita Malik had scored her second goal in the competition, to put the two time SAFF Champions ahead in the 35th minute.

A dominant India got their first chance in the 19th minute when striker Pinky Magar’s right-footer from close was palmed away by rival custodian. Pinky Devi then tested the rival custodian with a header, as former India Captain Oinam Bembem Devi kept the hosts' rearguard on tenterhooks with her defence splitting through balls.

The twice SAFF Champions were rewarded for their relentless attacks in the 35th minute.

Sasmita – goalscorer in the last match against Chinese Taipei – expertly cut past her marker to unleash a thunderous right-footer that crashed into the top right corner.      

It was 1-0 in favour of India at halftime.

Palestine equalised from nowhere minutes after the change of ends. Indian Captain Tuli Goon tripped forward Natali inside the 18-yard box to give away a penalty. Caro converted from the spot.   

That goal was the first and last time the 91st Ranked Nation troubled India goalkeeper Roshni Devi as the visitors kept on the pressure. Bembem drilled her effort in the 57th minute agonizingly wide while Prameshwori Devi’s shot ten minutes later hit the woodwork. Earlier, the Manipur winger also saw herchip being tipped over by Palestine goalkeeper Nadin.

Stopper back Ashalata Devi’s free kick from 30 yards kissed the horizontal on its way out in the 80th minute.

The action hardly shifted from the Palestine half as India pushed hard for the winner. Their counterparts seemed to settle for a point. They often had only goalscorer Caro outside their own half.

India Coach Anadi Barua introduced strikers Bala Devi and Rinaroy Devi in the 56th and 81st minute respectively to add teeth up front. But the hosts were determined to not return empty handed in front of their home crowd. They somehow clung on to the 1-1 scoreline.     

The draw meant both the sides ended their campaign with a point each, with India third in the standings and Palestine bottom of the table.

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