Football: ‘We Have To Play Our Best,’ Says Indian Women’S Team Captain Ashalata Ahead Of Uzbekistan Clash

(MENAFN- IANS) Hyderabad, May 20 (IANS) The Indian women's football team probables are currently in a training camp ahead of their two upcoming international friendlies. Indian captain, Loitongbam Ashalata Devi had much to say about their familiar opponents. India will be facing Uzbekistan on May 31 and June 4 in two international friendlies. The Blue Tigresses earlier faced the same opposition twice in 2023 losing 2-3 and 0-1, respectively.

“Uzbekistan are a strong team though we have played quite a few matches against them in recent years. They seem to have changed the way they operate, however, since their Japanese coach (Midori Honda) took over.

"They used to play a lot of direct football before, with a lot of long, aerial balls to break down the opponents. They have now adopted a more technical game, where they like to keep the ball on the ground and play it between each other. We did reasonably well against them last year, but we have to be prepared to play our best game in these two matches,” said Devi to theaiff

Indian women's football has seen impressive progress in the past year with the Indian Women's League (IWL) having changed its format in the previous season. All teams were told they would be playing on a home-and-away basis in the five-month season that followed.

“Our team is progressing a lot. We saw the results in the Turkish Women's Cup, and our team did very well to handle quality teams that regularly play in Europe. We must keep playing such matches in the international windows to improve ourselves. You learn to handle lots of things when you play such teams right from tactics, formations, and decision-making.

"Yes, we lost against Kosovo in our last match, but the fact that we managed to hold such a strong team till injury time speaks a lot. It's the small things that make the difference against such teams, and our girls are also learning them,” concluded the Indian skipper.

The Turkish Women's Cup has been an uphill task for the Tigresses in the past but the previous edition that took place in February saw them finish as runners-up, their best-ever finish in the tournament.



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