Sports News | Indian women's national football team prepares to face Myanmar

New Delhi [India]The Indian women's national team arrived in Yangon, Myanmar on Sunday evening ahead of their first friendly match against the host nation on July 9 at Thawna Stadium.

This will be the second consecutive ODI where India will face a higher-ranked team. Myanmar are ranked 54th in the world, while India are ranked 67th. The Blue Tigers have previously faced 48th-ranked Uzbekistan in Tashkent on May 31 and June 4, losing 0-3 and drawing 0-0 respectively.

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“Myanmar are a good team and we are ready to face them. It will be a very intense match. We don't need to play a defensive game, we can play attacking football and my boys are fully capable of doing that,” national team coach Langjam Chowba Devi said, according to a statement from the Asian Football Confederation.

India began their training camp at the AIFF National Centre of Excellence in Kolkata on June 26 with 29 players before Chawba reduced his squad to 23 on Saturday for the Myanmar tour.

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“Overall, everything went well at the camp, although some days were difficult due to some injuries. But we managed to overcome it and are ready to face the challenges of Myanmar,” said Ashalata Devi, Luitongmapam team leader.

He added: “We learned a lot from the last two matches against Uzbekistan. We did better in the second match. We played defensively in the first match and we realised that it was not the right approach. In the second match, we changed our tactics and moved to a more attacking mentality.

The Indian team has not won any of their five matches against Myanmar so far, losing four and drawing 3-3 in the Asian Women's Olympic Qualifiers in Mandalay in 2019. Sandhya Ranganathan, Sanju and Nongmaythem Ratanbala Devi are all part of the current squad; also, he scored a goal in this match.

Previously, India had suffered defeat four times in the Women's Asian Cup qualifiers (2013), Women's Asian Cup qualifiers (2015, 2018) and Gold Cup (2019).

Speaking about their previous experience against their powerful neighbours, Achalatta said: “We have played against them before, so we have an idea about them. Myanmar is strong and physically resilient. Their movement and speed are also good,” according to an official statement issued by the AFC.

However, it has been more than five years since India and Myanmar last faced each other and the captain believes these two matches will mark a fresh start in the rivalry.

“Myanmar’s style of play has changed a lot since we last played against them,” the 31-year-old said. “In the Asian Games, we saw them play. They have brought in a lot of young players who can produce more energy on the pitch. Our team has the perfect mix of players. “Seniors and young players, I am sure we can do better and the Myanmar tour can be successful.”

As for their current level, Myanmar have been absent from the competition since the Asian Games in China last September. They were eliminated from the group stage after losing to South Korea (0-3) and the Philippines (0-3), and their only win was against Hong Kong (1-0). Previously, Myanmar finished second to Vietnam at the Southeast Asian Games.

“We are closely monitoring Myanmar's style of play against South Korea and the Philippines,” Chaoba said. “Physically, they are similar to us, with slight differences in size and strength. However, they have a very good technical level. However, they have a very good technical level. Again, as I said, we can definitely 'face them'.”

“Competing against better and higher ranked opponents is always an advantage. It gives us the opportunity to learn more and change our strategy according to different situations, like we did against Uzbekistan,” Achalatta concluded. (ANI)

(This is an auto-generated, unedited story from a syndicated news feed. The latest staff cannot alter or edit the text of the content)

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