India U-16 girls eye winning run despite 'extreme' weather conditions

Despite back-to-back victories in the AFC U-16 Women’s Championship Qualifiers, the extreme climate in Ulaanbaatar has been concern for India coach Firmin D'Souza ahead of the side’s third group league match against Mongolia on Friday.

Indian players are trying to cope with the conditions in Ulaanbaatar.   -  AIFF

Despite back-to-back victories in the AFC U-16 Women’s Championship Qualifiers, the extreme climate in Ulaanbaatar has been concern for India coach Firmin D'Souza ahead of the side’s third group league match against Mongolia on Friday.

“Snowfall has been going on since last night along with heavy downpour in a few spells. It’s going to be extremely challenging for us to brave this weather condition when we got out against Mongolia,” he maintained.

“Although we have played two matches already, the weather condition has only got worsened since last night. Getting acclimatised to this is a real headache now.”

“But we are here to represent the nation and we will take everything in a positive way.”

The coach also made it clear that the primary focus is ‘to stay mentally strong.’ “Otherwise, we can't counter these sort of difficulties,” he said.

The meteorological department has predicted the mercury level to go below minus 3 degree Celsius in the next 24 hours with a few spells of rain.

On the other hand, Mongolia, having accumulated 3 points from as many matches so far, is fourth in the table and they're going to play their final game in the first round of the qualifying stage against India.

D'Souza who has followed their opponents closely over the course of the tournament stated: "They (Mongolia) play a good brand of football using every corner of the pitch. Their ground passing and movement during the game is really amazing. The first touch is something which they have adapted well and some of their players are very good dribblers as well.”

As per the new nomenclature of the AFC U16 Women's Championship, six group champions along with two best-second teams across the six groups will get a nod to the second qualifying round.

Eventually, four teams will join Korea DPR, Korea Republic, Japan and hosts Thailand in the finals which will be hosted by Thailand in 2019.

The match is slated to kick-off at IST 2.30pm and will be streamed live on Mycujoo TV.

  Dugout videos