SAFF Women’s C’ship: Indian team in good shape ahead of semis, says Maymol Rocky

India takes on Bangladesh in the semifinals of the SAFF Women’s Championship on Wednesday.

The Indian team is focussed and ready for the semifinal, says Maymol Rocky. Photo: AIFF Media

The Indian women’s football team is upbeat ahead of its semifinal contest against Bangladesh in the SAFF Women’s Championship, Maymol Rocky, the head coach, has said.

India stormed into the semifinals with a 5-0 win over Sri Lanka on Sunday, March 17, 2019. In the group stages, the team had another big win — a 6-0 demolition of Maldives.

‘In good shape’

“The girls are in good shape ahead of the semifinal. On Monday, the emphasis was on recovery and we had a couple of fun activities as well. Then, we followed it up with a heavy session in training and the players are focused on and ready for the match,” Maymol told AIFF.

The Indian team has been training and playing together since December, 2018. It played international matches against Hong Kong, Indonesia and Turkey. It also participated in the first edition of the Hero Gold Cup, at home, before travelling to Nepal for the SAFF Championship.

Read | India defeats Sri Lanka, storms into semis

Maymol was appreciative of the team for its efforts. “I highly appreciate the girls for the work they have put in. I’m sure they must be missing home and travelling for so long can take its toll. I’m happy that these youngsters are so focused. Football keeps all of us united and so does the honour of representing the country.”

‘Different ball-game’

In the semifinals, India will be the favourite against Bangladesh. Bangladesh was defeated 7-1 the last time the two teams met — the 2020 Olympic Qualifers Round 1, in November, 2018. “The previous result is not on our minds. This is a knockout fixture, so it will be a different ball-game,” Maymol said.

Looking ahead to the contest, Maymol said, “I'm sure the match will interesting and good to watch. We will play our attacking game and even if we do not get an early goal, we will get them sooner or later. Bangladesh will come out strong and the girls will respond too and go all guns blazing.”

The contest will be held on Wednesday, at 3.45 pm IST.