AFC U-19 Women's Championship: India faces stern Thailand test

India will face a tough task when the side takes on Thailand in the AFC U-19 Women's Championship Qualifiers on Sunday.

The Indian team lost to 2-0 to Nepal in its opening clash of the AFC U-19 Women's Championship Qualifiers on Friday but coach Alex Ambrose is confident of his side making a comeback.

While the players will be disappointed with the loss, Ambrose was optimistic and feels the girls can learn a lot from such matches.

“They are not too happy about the result yesterday. But again, it's all about the exposure that they get, at this age,” said Ambrose. “It was a tough game, but they will learn from mistakes like these."

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“They have to believe in themselves. Playing international teams is important for the players. The more they play, the better they get,” he continued. “That's where implementing the things on the pitch begins. Once they do that, the results will automatically come.”

Currently, Thailand tops the group with six points from two games, followed by Nepal and India, who have three points from two matches. However, Nepal is ahead by virtue of the head-to-head rule.

As things stand, India needs to win against Thailand and hope that Nepal does not beat Pakistan by more than 17 goals.

Other scenarios in which India can make it through to the second round is if Pakistan beats Nepal and India gets at least a point against Thailand, or if the Pakistan-Nepal match ends in a draw, then India needs to beat Thailand.

Though Thailand is the more-fancied team in the group, Ambrose is hopeful that his girls can implement his strategies against the host.

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“We will try our best and fight against Thailand. I've seen Thailand play, they are a wonderful team. They have some really technical and strong individual players. We will take every opportunity that comes our way and try to win it,” he said.

“There's always a chance (to qualify). The girls need to understand that and go all out to take that chance. If we can perform tomorrow, I'm sure we can get the desired result,” Ambrose signed off.

The Indian team faces Thailand on Sunday, October 28 at IST 6pm.

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