The Indian Football team played out a goalless draw yesterday against the Islamic Republic of Iran in their opening match of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup at the DY Patil Stadium. Coach Thomas Dennerby addressed the media after the game. Here are some of the excerpts from his press conference.
Group A of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup is currently led by China PR, who have three points after defeating Chinese Taipei 4-0 at the Mumbai Football Arena, while India shares the second spot with IR Iran, with both sides having a point apiece.
“Yeah, in that way I am disappointed with the result because we created enough chances and we deserved to win the game, but it is what it is. It is all down to technical skills, so you are not giving goals, you have to score goals,” Dennerby said on the team’s performance.
“It’s always good to come up with points in your first game, you stand a better chance of moving to the next round. We need to follow our plan, and try to get points against Chinese Taipei as well,” said Dennerby.
“We need to execute the chances we are creating. Our performance in the match reflects our hard work in the training daily. I feel we need to be quicker in passing the ball and finish on the first time. If we take a long time then we are allowing the defenders to return to their position. We need to improve on those aspects,” Dennerby declared.
“We need to be clinical when we have the goalscoring chances, it’s very important because if we can score a goal then the game will also open up a little bit more. So we need to improve on that. I think we defended well, they (Iran) had a couple of good counter-attacks, but we managed those situations well. We need to learn from those mistakes and be prepared for the next game,” he added.
“Yes, I was surprised a little bit, of course, you never know how the opponents will be playing and every game is different. We started the game in a defensive formation so they were attacking more at the beginning of the match. It was expected,” Dennerby expressed.
“I always admire players who play with their hearts. As long as they fight and give their 100 percent, I think as a coach we can always be satisfied with them. Still, we were technically better than them we should have got the win. We were fighting for the whole game but maybe our players were a bit nervous while playing in such a big competition. Hopefully, we will be more comfortable in our next game and have a good result against Chinese Taipei,” stated Dennerby on the Iran players’ performance.
“It’s always good to come up with points in your first game, you stand a better chance of moving to the next round. We need to follow our plan, and try to get points against Chinese Taipei as well. The only thing we can do is to focus on the next opponents, and not the table,” Dennerby averred.
“Kamala is a good player. She came into the squad a little bit late. We are trying to find out who is best for every game. This time we found that we needed speed. We will see later if she can play in the next match,” announced Dennerby.
“Manisha Panna played well in her (Sweety Devi) place. I am quite happy with her performance. We know that we have a covid situation now, but we are only thinking about our next game. Let’s hope we don’t have any more cases going forward,” said Dennerby.
“It’s not time for that yet. Chinese Taipei lost to China, but they are a good team, and we need to play well against them,” Dennerby concluded.
Wing-back Dalima Chhibber, who made a number of runs and crosses from the right flank, and Indumathi Kathiresan, who ran the show from the heart of the midfield gave their verdicts.
“We had a good game against Iran, but as a team, we could have been better. Now, it’s all about working on those little areas and coming out with a stronger mindset. We must focus and get those points that will help us advance,” Dalima stated.
“The positive we take away from our first match is that we created a lot of opportunities. That gives us a lot of confidence. Now it’s all about keeping up that fire, and the desire to get the job done in our next game. Football is all about coming back with a strong mindset the next day, and that’s exactly what we aim to do,” she added.
“I have never seen a bunch of girls with as strong a mindset as this team. We all have the belief that we can complete the task and hand, and our focus is already on the next game. A good result against Taipei would go a long way to help us achieve our target,” Indumathi Kathiresan said.
India will play their next game on Sunday, January 23 against the Chinese Taipei at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai.
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