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Mt. Lebanon’s Mia Bhuta scores in her groundbreaking debut at Women’s U17 World Cup

Photo courtesy USWNT / US Soccer

Mia Bhuta, who was born and raised in Mt. Lebanon, made a sparkling debut in the Women’s U17 World Cup opening match of Group A round-robin play, with the United States Women’s National Team,in her father’s home nation in Bhubaneswar, India on Tuesday.

The USWNT routed India, 8-0 in the match, as the game featured several special moments for Bhuta, a midfielder, who entered the match at halftime and wore the captain’s armband.

Bhuta, whose father was born in Mumbai and grew up in Gujarat before emigrating to the USA at the age of 16, is the first player of Indian descent to represent the USA in a World Cup, which she did so at the age of 16.

It got even better for Bhuta after entering the match. In the 62nd minute, the midfielder buried an incredible left-footed shot from distance in the top left corner. She also picked up the assist.

Bhuta scored the eighth and final goal in the 62nd minute. It was a fabulous left footed strike from well outside the box that sailed into the upper left corner.

“The feeling was incredible, and the crowd was amazing,” Bhuta said in the post game interview.  “It was something I’ve never experienced before.”

Bhuta added.

“That goals was extra special to me.  My grandfather couldn’t be here tonight because he just had bypass surgery, and he’s recovering in the hospital.”

Prior to the start of the World Cup competition, Bhuta released the following statement:

The result was the largest margin of victory in a FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup as it opened the tournament with seven different players scoring for the USA, led by a brace from forward Melina Rebimbas while forwards Onyeka Gamero and Taylor Suarez, midfielders Charlotte Kohler and defenders Ella Emri and Gisele Thompson also scored.

The USA will now take on Brazil on Friday, Oct. 14 at 7 a.m. ET (FS2) in the team’s second match of the group stage. Brazil beat Morocco 1-0 in its opening game of the tournament, meaning the USA sits atop Group A in the early going.

Driven to succeed: Mia Bhuta takes well-traveled road to USWNT’s U-17 player pool

John Krysinsky has covered soccer and other sports for many years for various publications and media outlets. He is also author of 'Miracle on the Mon' -- a book about the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, which chronicles the club, particularly the early years of Highmark Stadium with the narrative leading up to and centered around a remarkable match that helped provide a spark for the franchise. John has covered sports for Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, DK Pittsburgh Sports, Pittsburgh Sports Report, has served as color commentator on Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC broadcasts, and worked with OPTA Stats and broadcast teams for US Open Cup and International Champions Cup matches held in the US. Krysinsky also served as the Head Men’s Soccer Coach at his alma mater, Point Park University, where he led the Pioneers to the first-ever winning seasons and playoff berths (1996-98); head coach of North Catholic boys (2007-08), associate head coach of Shady Side Academy boys (2009-2014).

Riverhounds MF Danny Griffin

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