Risk and reward are the two guiding principles for the Indian Women’s Team, as they look to progress to the quarterfinals of the Asian Games. While their strong challenge to the Chinese Taipei capitulated in the second half, the Blue Tigresses had fought admirably against a side that is placed 23 places above them in the FIFA Rankings.
For India, who suffered a 1-2 loss at the hands of Taipei in their last game, a win against Thailand might just be enough to take them through to the last eight, though head coach Thomas Dennerby feels that the Blue Tigresses will have to work hard to gain victory against Thailand.
“We were a bit unhappy with the last result, but the overall mood is good. We need to put that game behind us and move on to the Thailand match, which we have been doing,” said Dennerby to the-aiff.com.
“We have seen a few of Thailand’s recent games, and they are a good side. But they are on a level that we can also match, provided our team put in a good day’s work on the pitch,” he said. “Our training sessions have been light. We’ve done more work tactically, and on set-pieces. Hopefully we can find a way to beat them.”
The Swede feels that taking a few more risks against Thailand could reap the desired fruits for the Blue Tigresses.
“We need to win to have a chance of reaching the quarterfinals. There are no other options. That means that we need to take a few more risks, but also maintain good balance,” he said.
“Thailand are a side that want to play all around the field. They can produce some good combination play around the offensive box, and push very high with their wingers and full-backs in attack, and are quite organised defensively as well,” said Dennerby.
However, unlike the match against the Chinese Taipei, where India squandered a goal lead to lose 1-2, Dennerby feels that his players need to hold their nerve.
“Our players did really well against Chinese Taipei, and were stable in their respective positions. What really changed the game was the equaliser. After that, the players got a little nervous, which is something we need to work on,” he said. “We need to stand strong against Thailand, even if things don’t go in our favour.”
India are are set to play Thailand at the Wenzhou Olympic Sports Centre Stadium, on Sunday, September 24 at 1.30pm IST. The match will be broadcast on the Sony Sports Network, and streamed live on Sony LIV.