Kathmandu: After losing their last game against Bangladesh, coach Chettri feels that the Indian women’s football team will need to perform as a unit when they take on hosts Nepal in the semifinal of the SAFF Women’s Championship at the Dashrath Stadium, here on Friday.
Nepal headed to the semi-final stage as the top team of Group B with 6 points from 2 matches, whereas India finished second in Group A with 6 points from 3 matches.
“It was not a good result and we all were rather disappointed after the loss against Bangladesh earlier this week. The hunger to score on the field was missing from our side, and we need to play as a unit against the hosts tomorrow. We have to come back stronger,” said Chettri on the eve of the semifinal game.
“The last game was a good lesson for us. If we don’t put in the effort, anyone can beat us,” he added.
The last time these two teams faced each other was in the gold medal match of the 2019 South Asian Games in Pokhara, Nepal, where India emerged victorious with 2-0 scoreline, courtesy a brace by Bala Devi, and the Blue Tigresses will be focused on proving their mettle against the neighbours once again.
“Nepal is a strong team, and they have good players. They have shown their attacking side by scoring 10 goals and we are yet to see how well they defend. We have past experience of playing them and will be focused on proving our potential on the pitch,” the coach said.
“We have worked on both our attacking and defending areas in our sessions as there was a huge communication gap in our previous game. We won’t repeat the same mistakes again,” he added.
Nepal will be playing at home, with the support of the crowd behind them. However, coach Chettri believes that his girls need to handle the game well and push through.
“Football is all about facing the fans and the crowd. We need to show them what we are here for. To play in Nepal against them will be crucial for us. If we handle them well on and off the field, we have the ability to beat them,” he said.