The Indian women’s football team comes back to action for the first time following the Asian Cup wreck earlier this year with an international friendly versus lower-ranked Egypt on Wednesday.
The national team was coerced to withdraw from the group stage of the AFC Asian Cup, which India conducted in January-February, after it failed to field a team because of COVID-19 breakout inside its bio-bubble in Mumbai.
The match facing 95th ranked Egypt at the Prince Mohammed Stadium will be the first time they will play following that failure. The team was anticipating to qualify for the 2023 FIFA World Cup from the Asian Cup. The Indian team is currently sitting at 59th in the world.
Indian women’s team head coach Thomas Dennerby feels that setting up a quality performance after a break will be crucial for the team.
“It promises to be a good game, against Egypt, and all the girls are feeling ready to return to the pitch once again,” stated Dennerby.
“We have a lot of respect for all our opponents, but that does not change our approach to any game. We always want to put in a good performance and play to win.”
Captain and centre-back Ashalata Devi stated the players were elevated to be playing international games again and a brief camp in Goa has supported the team get together.
“It feels great to be back in national colours once again, after a short break. We’re all pumped up and ready to go,” stated Ashalata.
“We have had a good camp in Goa, and it has helped us asses ourselves before going for the two matches. Let’s hope for the best,” she added.
India will play against hosts Jordan, ranked 63rd, in their second friendly on Friday.