The Indian women’s football team faces a stern test against a tricky Nepal in their Olympic Qualifiers Round 2 match in Mandalay on Saturday.
The two teams will be up against each other for the third time since February. In the Hero Gold Cup, Nepal had triumphed 2-1 in Bhubaneswar, while the Indians had a revenge of sorts in their 3-1 win in the SAFF Championship final.
India head coach Maymol Rocky said her side would look to score first and put the opposition under pressure.
“We need to take our chances. Nepal possess the ability to hurt us. That was on display in Bhubaneswar. We will try to score first,” Maymol said.
“Sabitra Bhandari is one of their [Nepal’s] key players in attack, and we will try to neutralize her,” she added.
Maymol spoke about her players having a good relationship with the Nepalese but said on the field there will be no concessions.
With only one team qualifying, and both India and Myanmar level on points, a win for Maymol-coached side will further boost their chances for a qualification from the Olympic Qualifiers Round 2.
Dalima Chhibber, who scored off a majestic free-kick in the SAFF final against Nepal, said the two teams are “aware of the strengths of each other”.
“Nepal are a side which know us very well as to how we play. We know them equally well. So it will be a battle of who can convert in front of the goal,” she said.