India have roped in two consecutive victories in the SAFF U-18 Women’s Championship and are sitting pretty at the top of the table with six points from their first two games. However, head coach Thomas Dennerby asserted that the young Tigresses need to maintain focus to get the desired results in the remaining two games as well.
India take on Nepal in their next match of the SAFF U-18 Women’s Championship at the JRD Tata Sports Complex in Jamshedpur at 7pm IST on Monday, March 21.
The match will be streamed live on the Indian Football Team Facebook page, and the Eleven Sports platforms.
“We came here with the ambition to try and win all the four games, and nothing has changed since then. We’ve won two, and two more games remain,” said Dennerby on the eve of India’s second match against Nepal which is set to take place at the JRD Tata Sports Complex on Monday, March 21.
“If we can handle the game against Nepal in a good way and get another win, then it would be a really good situation for us in the last game against Bangladesh. Hopefully, we will have a good game tomorrow (Monday),” he said.
India started the tournament with a bang, defeating Nepal 7-0 in the opening game, before earning a 1-0 victory over Bangladesh. Meanwhile, Bangladesh earned a 4-2 victory against Nepal, thus putting India on top of the table with six points, with Bangladesh following in at second.
“I’m super happy that we have six points. That puts us in a good position in this tournament. But still we could have done better in the first half against Bangladesh. We played a lot of long straight balls that were easy for Bangladesh to deal with,” explained Dennerby. “Even then we created the best chances in the first half, and maybe we should have scored a couple of goals in the second half as well. But we won the game, and that’s the most important thing.”
While there are a couple of areas where the coach feels that the young Tigresses could still improve on, he is impressed with the defensive discipline.
“I have to be satisfied with our defending. We have not allowed our opponents too many opportunities to score. I think Bangladesh had two chances against us, and Nepal only one. That speaks a lot about the defensive discipline we have,” said Dennerby. “We still have a few things to work on in our attacking game.”
Local girl, Nitu Linda, has turned in two good performances, coming off from the bench to score a goal each against Nepal and Bangladesh. The young attacker echoed her coach’s concerns of maintaining focus over the next two games.
“It’s very important for us to maintain our concentration. We still have two games left and the job is only half done. We need to maintain focus and do well in the remaining matches as well, and score as many more goals as we can,” she said.
“It feels great to play here in Jamshedpur, as we have so many supporters backing us. The main thing for us is that we all play together as one team,” continued Nitu. “That’s also one of the main reasons why I managed to score. But we are not happy with these two wins. We want to go even better.”