India’s Blue Tigresses brimming with confidence on eve of Uzbekistan test!

The Indian Senior Women’s National Team, who touched down in Tashkent, the capital city of Uzbekistan, in the early hours of Thursday, are already gearing up for their upcoming first friendly match against Uzbekistan tomorrow, on Friday, May 31, 2024.

The match will kick off at 6 p.m. IST at the Bunyodkor Stadium and will be streamed live on the Uzbekistan FA YouTube channel.

India and Uzbekistan, ranked 66th and 48th, respectively, in the current FIFA rankings, have faced each other 11 times previously. India could manage a victory only once, a massive 6-0 win during the 2003 AFC Asia Cup. The most recent clash between the two sides happened during the AFC Olympic Qualifiers Round 2, in November 2023, where India suffered a 0-3 defeat.

The record book notwithstanding, Head Coach Langam Chaoba Devi remains optimistic and confident in her team’s abilities. She said her players will put up a strong fight and not back down easily when they take to the pitch tomorrow. Their determination and resilience will be crucial as India aims to improve their record against a higher-ranked opponent.

“We all know Uzbekistan is a higher-ranked team as compared to us, but our girls also have the ability to face them on their home ground. We have already played in Olympic qualifying, but, unfortunately, we lost that match. But after watching the hard work and efforts put up by the girls in the two-week camp in Hyderabad, I can assure everyone that our team will not give up easily tomorrow.

“We have seen the videos of their matches and observed how Uzbekistan players play and will plan accordingly. We will try to win for sure,” coach Chaoba said from Uzbekistan.

Starting with an initial list of 30 probables, the Blue Tigresses underwent an intensive training camp at Sreenidi Deccan FC’s home ground, Deccan Arena. This two-week session culminated in head coach Langam Chaoba Devi making the final selection of the 23 players who travelled to Tashkent for the scheduled friendly matches. The chosen squad comprises a blend of senior and promising newcomers, reflecting a strategic mix of experience and fresh talent.

When asked about the possibility of trying fresh faces in the two friendlies, the coach said, “Yes, surely, with the future of Indian football in mind, we are planning to introduce some new players in some positions.”

Chaoba expressed confidence in the team’s preparations and spirit following the camp. “The team have shown significant progress and cohesion over the past two weeks and shaping up in a very composed manner. We are confident that the girls will give their best effort to win both matches, starting with tomorrow’s game,” she said.

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