Indian women play Nepal in first 2020 Olympic qualifying game

In the previous four editions, Indian has never made it past the initial stage.

Team India will take on Nepal in its opening clash on Thursday, which will be followed by matches against Bangladesh (November 11) and host Myanmar (November 13).   -  AIFF

The Indian women are geared up to play Nepal here on Thursday in their first match of the 2020 AFC Olympic Qualifying football tournament.

India will look to secure three points and get its campaign off to a winning start.

In the previous four editions, Indian has never made it past the initial stage and this time around, there is a high degree of confidence within the team after a successful three-week preparatory camp in Mumbai under head coach Maymol Rocky.

The coach said: “I feel we have got a favourable set of matches as our first two games are against familiar opponents (Nepal and Bangladesh) and we play the hosts in our last match. In such tournaments, how you start the competition is really important and the Nepal game will be extremely crucial for us to gather the much-required momentum.”

The coach said the Mumbai camp was a fruitful one for the team, helping the newcomers gel with the rest of the squad.

“All the girls responded to my instructions and applied themselves well. Even the girls who were not selected in the final team also grew as players and improved greatly.

“I feel we have built quite a cohesive unit and it puts us in a good position ahead of the three games.”