Category: Womens

Early advantage for Indian women as they land in Myanmar

NEW DELHI: Riding on the success of their fifth consecutive SAFF Championship triumph, the Indian Senior Women’s National Team landed in Maldalay, Myanmar today (March 26, 2019) for the forthcoming AFC Olympic Qualifiers Round 2 which kicks-off from April 3, 2019.

The Indian women have been clubbed with hosts Myanmar, Nepal and Indonesia in Group B.

“Arriving 8 days in advance for the Olympic Qualifiers will help us to acclimatize faster. It’s an early advantage which we need to cash upon, Head Coach Maymol Rocky stressed. “If you look at bigger tournaments, teams always arrive early.”

“It usually takes two to three days for a player to fully acclimatize to a new set-up. We are confident that we shall be cent percent ready for the first match, despite the hot, and humid weather,” Maymol maintained.

Maymol added: “The temperatures in Biratnagar during the SAFF Championship served as a warm-up in this regard as well. The girls responded well to the conditions, and I am sure they will adapt in Myanmar too.”

The Indian women are currently unbeaten in the last 23 matches at the SAFF Championship, and have headed to the AFC Qualifiers with an experience of 14 International matches since January 2019.

“In fact, International Football is not just about the weather,” Maymol stated. “Arriving early will help us to get a feel of the training pitches, and also the venues. Along with the physical part, it is important getready mentally. After all, switching to new surroundings can sometimes take time.”

India kick-off their campaign against Indonesia on April 3. The last time the two teams played in Jakarta in January, India had won both the matches.

Indian women’s football team better than men’s, says Sunil Chhetr

NEW DELHI: All India Football Federation General Secretary Mr. Kushal Das congratulated the Indian Senior Women’s National Team in a meet and greet session at the Capital on Saturday evening (March 23, 2019) after the Indian women beat Nepal 3-1 in the final to retain the SAFF Championship for the 5thconsecutive time.

Ms. Swati Kothari, General Manager, AIFF was also present on the occasion.

“Congratulations to all of you. Well done,” Mr. Das said. “There has been a definite improvement in the manner the women’s team has been playing. Good luck for the Olympic qualifiers (round 2). We feel, that you can achieve it, and move to the next round,” he stated.

The girls were also in for a major surprise when Padma Shri Sunil Chhetri was live with them via a video conference.

“Extremely proud of all of you,” Chhetri declared. “I have always maintained that the women’s team is much better than the men,” Chhetri expressed, much to the applause of the entire squad.

“Go there, and give your best in Myanmar. I have been keeping a track of all of you playing. Keep up the good work,” Chhetri, who had scored India’s match-winner against Myanmar in the AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers in Yangon, wished.

AIFF President Mr. Praful Patel also congratulated the women’s team on the success.

Congratulations to our women’s football team for winning the #SAFF Championship. You have once again proved that you are the true champions. Keep up the good work and add many feathers of success to your crown. Best wishes!’ he tweeted from his personal account @praful_patel.

The girls came back recently from Nepal winning the SAFF Senior Women’s Championship for the fifth consecutive time, and in the process stay unbeaten in 23 matches in the Championship.

“Great job. Extremely proud,” Chhetri gave a thumbs up.

Mr. Das reiterated that “qualifying from Round 2 of the Olympic qualifiers will be a big thing for Indian Football.”

“We are on the right track. The AIFF will continue to support and help. We intend to be a force to reckon with in Asian Football soon. The journey has just started,” Mr. Das expressed.

Head Coach Maymol Rocky thanked all for the “exposure tours.”

“We are heading into the round 2 of the Olympic qualifiers with an experience of 14 International matches. I never doubted the quality and commitment of my players. We are a young team, and all credit goes to the girls,” she stated.

Dalima Chibber who scored off a free-kick in the final, and was adjudged as the ‘Most Valuable Player’ in the SAFF Championship, explained that she has “improved as a player in the last 4 months.”

“I feel everyone in the team will agree that we have improved as players since the time we assembled in December in Odisha. The exposure tour in Turkey helped us immensely,” Dalima informed.

India have been clubbed with hosts Myanmar, Nepal and Indonesia in the round 2 of the Olympic qualifiers which kick-off in Mandalay. The first match against Indonesia is slated for April 3.

Indian womens beat Nepal to clinch fifth straight SAFF title

BIRATNAGAR (NEPAL): India continued its dominance at the SAFF Women’s Championship with the team lifting its fifth straight title on Friday (March 22, 2019) in Biratnagar, Nepal with a 3-1 win over the hosts in the final.

The win extends India’s unbeaten run in the tournament’s history to 23 games as goals from Dalima Chhibber, Grace Dangmei and substitute Anju Tamang saw India lift the trophy in front of a partisan crowd at the Sahid Rangashala Stadium.

The pace of the match was intense from the word go, with both sides pressing hard from the first whistle. Grace Dangmei fashioned a couple of early chances down the right wing for India while Nepal registered a couple of shots from distance, with Manjali Kumar testing Indian custodian Aditi Chauhan in the 14th minute.

Just three minutes later, after some excellent build-up play down the right, Sandhiya laid off a ball for Sanju to shoot from the top of the box. The winger’s effort was a powerful one but was saved by the opposition keeper. On the other end, Sabitra Bhandari posed a threat for India inside the penalty area but her curling effort was off target.

In the semifinal against Bangladesh, it was Dalima who opened the scoring for India and this time around too, it was the right-back who gave India the advantage. In the 26th minute, she smashed the ball the past the keeper from a free-kick from 30 yards with a powerful drive and put the defending champions into a 1-0 lead.

Ratanbala Devi could have added a second goal six minutes later but her shot from distance from saved by the Nepal goalie. In the 34th minute though, Sabitra equalized for the hosts as she rose high above her marker and headed the ball into the back of the net.

The break saw both sides go locked at a goal apiece but it could have easily been either team with the lead. Grace failed to connect well with a cross from Sanju down the left in the 41st minute and Aditi made a brilliant double save to deny Sabitra in first half stoppage time.

The second half began with India creating the majority of the opportunities, with Sanju and Ratanbala putting their respective efforts just over the bar. Nepal were under the cosh and India’s pressure paid off in the 63th minute after Sanju put Grace through on goal with a delightful through ball.

The winger swiftly broke through and showing great composure, she rounded the goalkeeper and slotted the ball home to restore India’s advantage. It proved to be the straw that broke the camel’s back as the away side continued to keep the Nepal side at bay and almost added another as Ratanbala’s shot wasspilled by the keeper.

Coach Maymol Rocky brought on Anju Tamang in place of Sandhiya midway through the second half at the top of the pitch and in the 78th minute, the move paid rich dividends as she slammed the ball on the volley for India’s third after a crafty first-time assist from Indumathi Kathiresan.

Towards the end, Nepal threw the kitchen sink at the Indian defence but they refused to bow down and stood firm. Sabitra and Renuka Nagarkote threatened to halve the deficit but could not get past Aditi in goal as India romped to a fifth SAFF trophy in a row. 

India Starting XI: Aditi Chauhan (GK); Jabamani Tudu, Sweety Devi (Ranjana Chanu 90′), Ashalata Devi, Dalima Chhibber; Indumathi Kathiresan, Sangita Basfore, Ratanbala Devi; Sanju, Dangmei Grace, Sandhiya Ranganathan (Anju Tamang 64′).

Indian womens thrash Bangladesh to set up SAFF final against Nepal

BIRATNAGAR (INDIA): The Indian women’s team secured their berth in the final of the SAFF Women’s Championship for the fifth time in a row with a clinical 4-0 win over Bangladesh on Wednesday (March 20, 2019) at the Sahid Rangashala Stadium in Biratnagar, Nepal. Dalima Chhibber opened the scoring for India, which was followed by a brace from Indumathi Kathiresan and an injury-time strike by Manisha, as the defending champions took their tally to 15 unopposed goals in three matches.

The match began with both teams going hard from the first whistle as Bangladesh looked to make the most of their physical prowess and pressed the Indian defenders with rigorous pace. The Indian centre-back duo of Ashalata and Sweety Devi, however, stood tall and denied the opposition forwards any sniff at goal.

After a tense start, the Indian eves found the foothold they wanted with their first corner of the match. With 18 minutes gone, Sanju curled in an excellent delivery from the left that fell to Dalima inside the box and the right-back made no mistake as she placed the ball into the back of the net.

The tempo of the match went up a notch after the opener, with both sides fashioning good chances to score. Bangladesh centre-back Mosammat Khatun skied an effort from close range while Sanju was denied by the custodian in a one-on-one situation in quick succession.

India registered their second in the 23rd minute through midfielder Indumathi, who showed excellent composure to slot the ball past the keeper after being played through on goal with a delightful reverse through-ball from Sanju.

Bangladesh then looked to hit back, trying their luck from distance – only to be denied by a confident Aditi Chauhan in goal. India, who scored 11 goals in their first two matches at the tournament, showed how clinical they can be with a classic counter-attack goal in the 37th minute to take their lead to three goals.

Dalima played the ball out from the right after an attack from Bangladesh and in no time, Sanju and Sandhiya combined excellently to put through Indumathi once again, who found the net once again with a well-placed finish.

As the sides switched ends for the second half, it was India that started out stronger and controlled most of the possession. Sanju and Dangmei Grace were a handful for the Bangladesh defence down the flanks and it was the latter who came close to scoring at the hour mark but saw her shot across goal go inches wide of the post.

Coach Maymol Rocky brought on Anju Tamang and Manisha in place of Ratanbala Devi and Grace respectively, and both substitutes produced impactful performances as soon as they came on. With 15 minutes to go, Anju ran in goal and looked to chip the keeper with a volleyed effort but it sailed just over the bar.

Manisha too was a handful for the Bangladesh defence after coming on and almost gave India their fourth goal with a shot from inside the box that was saved excellently by the rival custodian. However, she was not to be denied in the dying moments of the match as she pounced on a loose ball in the box, rounded the keeper and scored her first goal of the tournament.

The match ended 4-0 in favour of the Indian side, who will now take on hosts Nepal in the final on Friday (March 22, 2019).

India Starting XI: Aditi Chauhan (GK); Jabamani Tudu (Michel Castanha 90′), Sweety Devi, Ashalata Devi, Dalima Chhibber; Sangita Basfore, Ratanbala Devi (Anju Tamang 56′), Indumathi Kathiresan; Sanju, Dangmei Grace (Manisha 66′), Sandhiya Ranganathan

Indian women storm into semifinals of SAFF Women’s Championship with 5-0 win over Sri Lanka

BIRATNAGAR (NEPAL): The Indian women’s team sealed their place in the semifinal of the SAFF Women’s Championship with a 5-0 victory against Sri Lanka today (March 17, 2019) at the Sahid Rangashala Stadium in Biratnagar, Nepal.

The result extended India’s unbeaten run in the competition’s history to 21 games and secured the top spot in Group B, with all five goals coming from different scorers.  

The first half began in fantastic fashion for the Indian side as they found the net in the fourth minute through winger Grace Dangmei. The goal was created through some fine work from Sanju down the left wing as she cut inside to unleash a shot that rattled the woodwork and fell to Grace, who headed in the rebound first-time.  

One became two just three minutes later, thanks to Sanju’s wing-play again. She broke down the left past the defensive line and put in an inch-perfect cross, which was tapped in by an onrushing Sandhiya.   

In the 17th minute, Ratanbala appeared to have scored the third for India from close range but it was chalked off for offside. The opposition defence seemed to have then regained its composure, with goalkeeper Wijerathna pulling off a couple of good saves and the Indians hitting the frame of the goal twice from distance.  

Led by Sanju, the Indian side continued to pour forward and ended the first 45 on the front foot – scoring two quickfire goals again. In the 36th minute, Sanju ran past her marker yet again and put in a cross that caused havoc in the Sri Lankan defence. The ball eventually fell to Indumathi, who slammed it past the keeper into the goal.  

The fourth game on the stroke of half-time, this time from 12 yards out. Sanju’s cross struck the hand of a Sri Lankan defender as the referee pointed straight to the spot and Sangita made no mistake, putting the ball into the corner of the net and sending her team into the break with a four-goal cushion.  

The second period began in the same vein and Ratanbala, having had a goal cancelled earlier, got her name in the scorers’ list with a powerful effort from inside the box and extended India’s lead to five.  

The four-time defending champions continued to dominate possession and could have added another to their tally through Jabamani Tudu, who latched on to the ball from a free-kick and placed her effort just past the post. Dalima Chhibber and Ratanbala came close with long-range shots as well but were denied by the Sri Lankan custodian.  

The Indian women saw out the game till the end, continuing to create chances and control the tempo – eventually picking up the three points comfortably. In the semifinal, they will now take on Group A runners-up Bangladesh on Wednesday (March 20) while hosts Nepal will face Sri Lanka in the other fixture.

India put 10 past Turkmenistan in Turkish Women’s Cup

NEW DELHI: The Indian women’s team romped home to a massive 10-0 victory against Turkmenistan in their second match of the Turkish Women’s Cup on Friday (March 1, 2019) in Alanya, Turkey.

Attacker Sanju was the highest scorer of the match, netting a hattrick as Maymol Rocky’s team bounced back from the 0-1 defeat against Uzbekistan on Wednesday. Anju Tamang and Ranjana got a brace each to their name, while Dangmei Grace, Sumithra and Indumathi Kathiresan got a goal each to their name.

India started off with a bang, as Dangmei Grace put the eves in front on the 7th minute itself. Around 10 minutes later, Sanju added yet another one, before making it 3-0 for India minutes before the half-time break.

The team, led by Indumathi Kathiresan in this match, increased the tempo in the second half, as Grace and Ranjana combined again to add two more. Notably, the 71st-minute goal marked the hat-trick for Sanju, and also the third assist of the match for right-back Dalima Chhibber.

Sumithra, Anju and captain Indumathi added three more goals to take India to double figures in the game. India are next set to face Romania on Sunday (March 3).

India Starting XI: Linthoingambi Devi; Jabamani Tudu, Ashalata Devi, Sweety Devi, Dalima Chhibber; Sangita Basfore, Indumathi Kathiresan (C), Anju Tamang; Sanju, Manisha, Dangmei Grace

India lose to Uzbekistan in first match of Turkish Women’s Cup

NEW DELHI: The Indian Women’s Team came up short in their first match of the Turkish Women’s Cup against Uzbekistan, as they lost by a narrow 0-1 margin on Wednesday, February 27. India Head Coach Maymol Rocky believes that the early goal proved to be the undoing of her team, as Uzbekistan bagged the win.

“We were unlucky to concede a goal early on, and that cost us in the end. Our girls showed a lot of heart and played really well against quality opposition like Uzbekistan,” said Maymol. “Perhaps if we had taken our chances, the result may have been different.”

Despite the loss, Maymol took heart from the fact that the team has improved a lot in the last couple of years. “A couple of years back (in April 2017) Uzbekistan had defeated us 7-1. Compared to that, this performance is much better. We will take the positives from this match, and look to iron out the mistakes before our next game against Turkmenistan,” she added.

Uzbekistan got off to an early start after the match kicked-off as Burhanova Malika put the Central Asian nation in the lead in the fourth minute. This provided a lot of momentum to the Uzbek attack, but the defence, along with India keeper Aditi Chauhan, managed to keep them at bay in the early exchanges after the goal.

A 25th-minute substitution by India saw Jabamani Tudu replace Michel Castanha at the left-back position. India mounted a few attacks after this substitution, but the Uzbek defence managed to negotiate them.

The Indian eves came out with more conviction in the second half, with Dangmei Grace looking to use her long-range shooting abilities. Defenders Dalima Chhibber and Sweety Devi came to India’s rescue mid-way through the second half, as they made crucial clearances.

India had the golden chance to draw level with just six minutes of regulation time left on the clock, but striker Anju Tamang missed the target from inside the penalty area. Soon after, Chhibber also failed to hit the target from close range, before the referee brought the match to an end.

India Starting XI: Aditi Chauhan; Sweety Devi, Ashalata Devi, Michel Castanha, Dalima Chhibber; Sangita Basfore (C), Ratanbala Devi, Sanju; Dangmei Grace, Manisha, Indumathi.

Indian women face Uzbekistan in opening match of Turkish Cup

NEW DELHI: The Indian Women’s national team will take on Uzbekistan in the opening match of the Turkish Women’s Cup 2019 in Alanya, Turkey tomorrow (February 27, 2019) with a goal of getting back to winning ways.

The Indian Women are preparing for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Qualifiers Round 2 in April wherein they are drawn in Group A, pitted against hosts Myanmar, Indonesia and Nepal – who will host the SAFF Women’s Championship in March.

Dubbing the clash as a litmus test, head coach Maymol Rocky said, “Uzbekistan are one of the top teams of Asia and it will be a challenge to face them. They are strong on the counter and we will have to be at our 100 per cent to beat them”

“The Hero Gold Cup was a good opportunity for us to test our permutations and combinations strategically against quality opponents and we will look to do the same in the Turkish Cup with an aim of creating a final iteration as we proceed to the Olympic Qualifiers”

The Indian women had gone on an unbeaten run of five matches including wins over Hong Kong, Indonesia and Iran (in the Hero Gold Cup), but losses against Nepal and Myanmar – both coming in the Hero Gold Cup, have given room for improvement.

“We have worked on our finishing ever since the Hero Gold Cup where we faltered in front of goal. The bright spot in the Gold Cup was that we were creating chances at will and we look to continue that in the Turkish Cup.”

“We are focusing on finishing the chances we create while implementing the game plan,” Maymol added.

The Indian Women had lost 7-1 to Uzbekistan in 2017 in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup Qualifiers. Two years down the road, Ashalata Devi, who played in 2017, believes that the result will be different altogether this time.

“We have developed and evolved into better players by leaps and bounds. We also have tested ourselves against tough opponents and there is no doubt that if we play to the best of our abilities, we can beat Uzbekistan,” said Ashalata.

“It will be a tough match for us but we are prepared for them. We stunned Iran as well (in the Hero Gold Cup) and we have the capacity to defeat some of the best teams if we play to our strengths,” she added.

Meanwhile, the Indian Women will also be facing Turkmenistan and Romania in the Turkish Women’s Cup 2019.

INDIAN SENIOR WOMEN’S TO PLAY IN TURKISH WOMEN’S CUP

NEW DELHI: The Indian Senior Women’s Team will be embarking on an exposure tour to Turkey where they will be playing in the Turkish Women’s Cup from February 27, 2019 onwards.

India have been clubbed with Romania, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan in Group A, while France (B), Jordan, Northern Ireland, and hosts Turkey make up Group B.

Every team will play each other in the group once with the group-toppers making it to the final. There will also be matches for the 3rd and the 4thslot, the 5th and the 6th slot, and the 7th and the 8th places.

The tournament is part of the Indian Women’s Team preparation for the AFC Olympic Qualifiers Round 2 (in April) and also the SAFF Women’s Championship scheduled in March.

Since January, the girls have played 7 International matches which includes their exposure tours to Hong Kong and Indonesia, and the Hero Gold Cup in Bhubaneswar.

 

All India Football Federation General Secretary Mr. Kushal Das said that the aim is to “provide a foolproofpreparation” for the Women’s Senior Team ahead of the Olympic Qualifiers Round 2.

“We are committed to provide the best of exposure to the Senior Women’s Team. The experience of playing against stronger Teams will serve them in good stead prior to the SAFF Championship, and obviously the Olympic Qualifiers,” he said. “I need to thank the SAI and the MYAS for their support,” Mr. Das added.

National Team Director Abhishek Yadav, also a former National Team captain mentioned that “playing more matches will make the girls more confident.”

“The girls have already played in 7 International matches since January. At the Turkish Women’s Gold Cup, we are guaranteed of another 4 matches. The tournament will further help to assess the areas we need to stress upon in the Olympic qualifiers, and also in the SAFF Championship,” he maintained.

The squad will leave the Indian shores on February 20 and play their first match against Uzbekistan on February 27.

India’s fixtures for the Turkish Women’s Cup 2019 is as follows:

February 27: India vs Uzbekistan.

March 1: Turkmenistan vs India.

March 3: Romania vs India.

March 5: Play-off matches including FINAL.

Indian Women’s to take on Nepal in Women’s Gold Cup

BHUBANESWAR: Anju Tamang’s 48th-minute winner led India to a perfect start in the Hero Gold Cup beating IR Iran 1-0 in their opening encounter. But for coach Maymol Rocky and her players, it was just another day in office which went right as they were continued their winning spree — taking the tally to five victories (2 each against Indonesia and Hong Kong).

“We play for a win in every match, and against Iran it was no different. We knew this will be a tough match for us. We wanted to start the tournament of a positive note,” said Maymol. “This is a win for all stakeholders involved, and every Indian. We dug deep and fought our way every minute to get the win.”

India could have scored more but were unlucky as Sanju hit the woodwork in the second half, and Anju muffed almost scoring another in the dying embers.

“Everyone did their job on the pitch to the fullest. We were confident before the match. I am aware of the potential this team has, and we played to the best of our abilities, and stunned one of the best women teams in Asia.”

Goalkeeper Aditi Chauhan made a mere four saves in the entire match and was not stretched even once. “The team performed really well defensively. It was because of the 10 players playing ahead that Aditi was not called into action much. We are aiming for this kind of defensive solidity in each match,” Maymol informed.

Defender Sweety Devi said: “Our game plan was to delay their forwards and keep them on the flanks for as long as possible and we were able to do that. There were times when we were stretched at the back and had to rush in.”

Meanwhile, the duo of Sanju and Anju gave constant trouble to the Iranian defence, bedazzling and bewildering them with almost every move. “Me and Sanju had our little game plan before the match. We discussed what we will do once the ball gets on the wins,” informed goal scorer Anju Tamang.

“We are room partners as well. So we talk a lot. I believe I complement Sanju in attack, as she complements me.”

Coach Maymol further thanked the fans for their support. “It was amazing to see the fans in the stands who chanted and cheered for us. You play for these moments and I am glad we could give the fans a win to cherish.”

“We need their constant support as we play for them and represent them. They give us the energy to perform day in and day out,” she added.

The Indian Women next clash against Nepal in their second match on February 11. Nepal had lost 3-0 to Myanmar in their first match but Maymol believes they are no pushovers.

“Nepal are a very strong team. We cannot underestimate them. They are really quick on the break and have decent finishing skills. We need to be on the top of our game and aim for a win.”