By Sruti Chakraborty,
AIFF Media Team
KATHMANDU: With a semi-final berth already secured, and after pumping in nine goals past Maldives in the second match, the Blue Tigresses take on Bangladesh in their last group league game of the SAFF Women's Championship 2022 on Tuesday (September 13, 2022). The kick-off is at IST 5.15pm, and it will be streamed live on Eleven Sports platform.
Head Coach Suren Chettri, nevertheless, is in no mood to be complacent, courtesy the back-to-back victories against Pakistan (3-0), and Maldives (9-0).
“Winning by a huge margin always gives confidence. But we shouldn’t be complacent. Rather, we are looking forward to the next one with the same winning mentality, and finish top of the group”, he said.
“The Maldives game is a past now. We have shifted our focus on Bangladesh. I hope much like the previous game, the girls will play as a team, and concentrate on the job at hand,” Suren stated.
The last time India met Bangladesh at the SAFF Women’s Championship semi-finals in 2019, the Blue Tigresses came out 4-0 winners.
“Bangladesh are a physical side, and have played good football against Pakistan and Maldives. We respect them as an opponent, and will go out with an attacking mentality,” the coach maintained. “Both the teams know each other quite a bit as they have played against each other in recent times. Hence, both are aware of the strengths and weaknesses of the other. We need to stay positive.”
The Indian women go into the encounter on the back of a two-day break, and the coach maintained the focus has been on keeping the morale high, and working on a few tactics on the field.
Captain Ashalata Devi, who had three back-to-back assists in the previous game believes every player is a leader herself when they are on the field. “Every player should act like a leader on the pitch. That is how you gain confidence. Bangladesh are a tough team. I have told the girls to forget the last win, concentrate on the team combination, and work together,” Ashalata informed.
Midfielder Anju Tamang who pumped four goals against Maldives is determined not to make silly mistakes against Bangladesh. “We will stay alert, and will try to make no silly mistakes. Coach has chalked out a plan, and we need to stick to it all throughout.”
Meanwhile, Bangladesh head coach Golam Rabbani Choton said: “India are a strong team. We respect them a lot. We have made certain changes in our team, and we want to focus on playing good football against them.”