Pyari Xaxa’s 68th-minute goal proved to be the winner as Indian women beat Hong Kong by a solitary goal in the second friendly on Wednesday.
With the victory, India ended their campaign in Hong Kong, winning both the friendly matches and will now be heading to Indonesia for further challenges.
The Indian women are preparing for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Qualifiers Round 2, and will now be playing matches against Indonesia next on January 27 and 30, respectively.
Head coach Maymol Rocky maintained that both the matches provided her the opportunity to experiment with tactics in a competitive environment.
“We experimented a lot with our tactics. Most importantly, we got the chance to do it against a quality opponent. We wanted to test some permutations and combinations, and our aim was to make the most out of the series in terms of experimenting,” said Maymol, summing up both the matches.
India had earlier defeated Hong Kong 5-2 in the first friendly match on January 21.
“We knew this match would be different. You cannot expect two back to back high goal scoring games against the same opponents. They (Hong Kong) knew our strengths and kept a compact shape while defending deep,” she explained.
“Our aim was to gather valuable match experience. In terms of development, a 1-0 win aids more as compared to a win by a higher margin,” she added.
Maymol brought on Pyari Xaxa at the start of the second half and Xaxa’s goal proved to be the winner in the second match. “It was a very tight match. Scoring the winner gives me a lot of confidence as a player. Hong Kong were much more solid at the defence in the first half, not allowing us chances to score,” Pyari expressed.
Midfielder Sangita Basfore stated that “both the matches served their purpose.”
“While the first match boosted our confidence massively, the second helped us to learn concentration in a high-stress environment,” Sangita felt.
“A winning momentum further helps us boost our confidence. Every team presents its own challenges and so will Indonesia. We are ready and prepared for them,” Maymol informed.
Both Hong Kong and Indonesia have also qualified for the Round 2 of the Olympic Qualifiers which are slated for April 1-9, 2019.