_Shilji Shaji nets four as India U-17 women’s team hammers Jordan 6-0

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Zarqa City (Jordan), Feb 9

Shilji Shaji netted four goals as India U-17 women's national football team hammered Jordan 6-0 at the Prince Mohammed Stadium, here on Thursday.

Shilji's show helped India gain their second victory in as many friendly matches in Jordan.

The India U-17s, who are currently preparing for their AFC U-17 Asian Cup Qualifiers (to be held later this year), started off on a bright note and got their reward when a header by Pooja off a Shilji corner was turned into her own goal by Jordan defender Mera Atari.

As the match neared the half hour mark, Shilji turned scorer, netting off a Manisha Kumari cross to double India's lead; the Young Tigresses, by dint of the two early goals, carried a comfortable lead into the tunnel at half time.

It took them some time to find the same scoring rhythm again, but once they did, the floodgates opened. Pooja produced a brilliant solo effort, as she dribbled past two defenders and rounded the keeper to finish in an empty net.

Pooja soon turned provider, as she received a cross by Juhi and squared it to Shilji, who finished into an empty net. The India striker soon completed her hat-trick with just eight minutes of regulation time left, as her shot from outside the box beat the keeper on the far side.

Shilji added one more to make it four to her own tally in injury time; this time, her shot from outside the area was blocked, but the striker remained alert enough to get onto the rebound and turn it in.

--IANS

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