Focus is on the win, asserts coach Maymol Rocky ahead of Nepal clash

DHAKA, BANGLADESH: After a resounding victory against Bhutan, goals have suddenly dried up in the Indian camp. Despite enjoying more of the exchanges and holding a clear edge in their game against hosts Bangladesh, the India U-20 women’s team had to settle for a goalless draw in the SAFF U-20 Women’s Championship on Sunday night.

But for the Indian girls, the disappointment is in the past. On Tuesday, when they meet their counterparts from Nepal at the Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Dhaka, they will be up for a different challenge altogether. The Young Tigresses are determined to get a win and unwilling to settle for anything else.

The match will kick off at 2:30 pm IST and will be streamed live on the Sportzworkz YouTube channel.

India have four points from two matches (Bhutan 12-0 and Bangladesh 0-0) and are at the top of the table on goal difference. A point against Nepal will see them seal their spot in the final to be played on February 9.

India U-20 Women’s Team head coach Maymol Rocky maintained that the team is absolutely “focused” on leaving the pitch with a victory in their pockets.

Speaking ahead of the match, Maymol said: “We are not taking Nepal lightly. They are a good side. We have watched them play some good football in both their games – against Bangladesh and Bhutan. It will not be easy for us, and we have to be at our full strength.

“We have to score tomorrow to win the match and go for the finals. Football is all about scoring goals if you want to get all three points. It’s a good feeling when I see girls creating chances but what matters most is finishing the moves in the best possible manner. And somewhere we need to improve that.”

Against the same opponents, India churned out a stellar performance in their last SAFF U-18 Women’s Championship in 2022 beating them 5-1 in Jamshedpur. Nepal will hope to reverse the result.

When asked, Maymol said: “Well, when any team plays against India in the SAFF, they always try to come back stronger. And Nepal will also try to put their best foot forward. All teams in this region are growing and improving at a rapid pace. So, we can’t expect the same results to be repeated. Let’s all support our girls, and they will surely do their best.

“I just want to tell my girls to work hard and be more focused in the attacking third, and I believe we can win tomorrow,” Maymol added. 

Nepal, on the other hand, has players from both the senior national team and age group teams and have three points from two matches, having beaten Bhutan (4-0) after losing to Bangladesh (1-3) in their first game.

Ahead of the crucial match, Nepal head coach Yam Gurung said: “We all know India are a powerful team, but we have come prepared and we are looking forward to the game. If we get a chance to score, we will surely do it. 

“India are always title favourites, especially after playing in the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup and we are ready to give our best against them.”

Also Read: Resolute Odisha FC holds FC Goa to a draw and keeps playoff chances alive

Also Read: India U-17 rout hosts Jordan in friendly match

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