The Indian women’s football team will play two friendly matches against Uzbekistan as part of its preparation for the AFC Asian Cup 2022 qualifiers.

The Indian women’s team, which finished third in the COTIF Cup recently, will play the two matches at the Yakkasary Stadium, Tashkent on August 29 and September 2.

As the 29-member squad started training at the preparatory camp here, head coach Maymol Rocky said that “the exposure for the team has been unprecedented, and valuable”.

“Playing against so many international opponents does wonders. The players have more self-belief at the moment as they have now adept in playing against a variety of oppositions. It has improved the players, both on and off the pitch,” Maymol said.

At the start of the year, the Indian team played two away friendlies apiece against Hong Kong and Indonesia, which were followed by the inaugural Hero Gold Cup that took place in Bhubaneswar, where they took on Myanmar, Nepal and Iran.

After that, the team competed against Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Romania and Kazakhstan in the Turkish Women’s Cup.

The Indian team travelled to Nepal in March and successfully defended the SAFF Women’s Championship title, defeating the hosts 3-1 in the final. In the 2020 Olympic Qualifiers, the team defeated Indonesia and Nepal before playing out a thrilling 3-3 draw against hosts Myanmar to bow out on goal difference.

The head coach described the forthcoming double-header in Uzbekistan as a “good opportunity” to see where the team stands.

“With the qualifiers for the AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2022 coming up, the matches against Uzbekistan will be an important step in our preparation,” she said.

Maymol has summoned a list of 29 players for the ongoing camp in New Delhi.

“After the COTIF Cup, the girls are raring to go. They look fresh. There are a few new players who have been called up. So we’re looking forward to getting them to see how they perform,” Maymol stated.