After beating higher-ranked Chinese Taipei in the last match of its international tour, the Indian women’s football team will play against two Swedish sides later this month as part of its preparations for next year’s Asian Cup in the country.
The team will play against two top tier 1 sides Hammarby IF (October 20) and Djurgarden IF (October 23) in Sweden. India head coach Thomas Dennerby was earlier at the helm of both the clubs.
The team has already played four international friendlies against the UAE (4-1), Tunisia (0-1), Bahrain (5-0) and Chinese Taipei (1-0) over the last few weeks in Dubai and Manama.
The best match among them was the win against 40th-ranked Chinese Taipei. The worst match for the 57th-ranked Indian team was the loss to Tunisia, placed 77th in the Fifa chart.
Dennerby spoke of the quality of opposition that the Indian women’s team is about to face.
“We will be playing against Hammarby and Djurgarden, both of whom play in the top tier in Sweden. I was the coach of Djurgarden when we reached the UEFA Women’s Champions League Final in 2004,” said Dennerby.
“They are still a very good team, and both matches will be challenging for us.”
The Swede stressed on the work ethic of the players, who have been training together for almost two months now, since their camp in Jamshedpur.
“They want to learn, and they work very hard, be it in the gym or on field. Whatever task we set for them, they try to do their best,” said Dennerby.
“The most important thing is that the girls understand that they are really good footballers. This helps them improve their self-confidence.
“When you play football, you cannot always play with a goal advantage, and they need to learn how to play when they are a goal down. It is a different kind of pressure, but they are all dealing with it.”