India women's team braces for Belarus challenge

The Indian women’s team will take on Belarus in its second international friendly at the AGMK Stadium in Tashkent on Thursday.

Indian women's football team

The Indian women's football team trains on the eve of its game against Belarus.   -  Special Arrangement/AIFF

The Indian women’s team will look to put behind its loss to Uzbekistan earlier in the week as it braces for a clash with Belarus at the AGMK Stadium in Tashkent on Thursday. The game is slated for a 4.30 PM (IST) kick-off.

Speaking on the eve of the game, India head coach Maymol Rocky said: “Belarus maybe a couple of spots below us on the FIFA Rankings, but they are used to playing against strong European sides, and their level of competition is high. But our girls are getting fully prepared for the game, and I’m sure they will go all out.”

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Rocky lauded her side despite the late heartbreak as it conceded in the 87th minute to lose the game.

“It was a heartbreak against Uzbekistan, but if I consider all the recent matches, I think this was one of the best performances that we put out. Uzbekistan were under pressure in the second half, and we went all out for this game,” said Maymol.

India goalkeeper Aditi Chauhan felt there are a lot of positives from the game against Uzbekistan despite the loss and that the team is raring to go against Belarus.

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“We are very excited about our game against Belarus. We’ve taken lots of positives in the game against Uzbekistan. We know the things that we are doing well. We just need to work on certain areas,” said Aditi. “We are very confident to be going and stepping up against Belarus, against a very strong side, and I’m sure that the entire squad is up for it,” she added.

- Youngsters add a new dimension -

The Indian women’s team has been training together since December, 2020, in its long-term preparation for the AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022. A number of players from the U-17 side have also joined the senior team.

RELATED| Indian team will benefit from Uzbekistan trip - Maymol Rocky

“The youngsters that are coming in for the team, they will definitely be good, and if they give their 100 per cent, we will be in a better position for the Women’s Asian Championship 2022,” said Maymol.

Chauhan felt that this time spent together has helped build the squad into one unit. “It has been a very long time which had its ups and downs. But it's great that the team has come together even stronger. We have been playing with each other as one unit, and you can see that in the matches also,” she said.

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“We have a few players who have joined us from the U-17 team, and it's great to have the young blood. To fight for any position, it’s always good to have that competition in the team. That’s how we grow. For the youngsters, it's important for them to understand how competitive it is at the senior level. I think it will help them prepare themselves better for the future,” she added.