The Indian women’s U-17 football team will play against Thailand and Sweden in a three-nation international tournament in Mumbai starting December 13 as part of its preparations for next year’s Fifa U-17 World Cup to be held in the country.
“With the preparations and build-up (for 2020 Fifa Women’s U-17 World Cup) in full swing, Mumbai Football Arena will play host the U-17 Women’s Football Tournament 2019 – a first-of-its-kind international tournament for girls that will see India take on Sweden and Thailand, both powerhouses in the global women’s game,” the All India football Federation said in a statement.
AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das spoke about the importance of competition as part of the build-up for next year’s U-17 World Cup.
“With the Fifa World Cup on the horizon this will be a great opportunity for the Indian team to play the likes of Sweden and Thailand. I wish the teams all the best for the competition.
India U-17 World Cup coach Thomas Dennerby felt the tournament will benefit the team.
“It is very important to play international friendlies against strong opponents. It helps us to learn more about decision making in crunch situations, besides helping us to maintain the pace of the game,” he said.
“The players and all the staff are very much looking forward to the tournament. It is an acid test which was very much needed.”
Sweden ranks as one of the top nations in the world in women’s football, with their senior side finishing third in the Fifa Women’s World Cup 2019 in France, the AIFF said.
Thailand too are considered one of the top nations in Asia in women’s football, having secured consecutive qualifications in the last two Fifa Women’s World Cups along with a fourth-place finish at the AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2018 in Jordan.
Fixtures of 3-nation tournament:
December 13: India vs Sweden
December 15: Sweden vs Thailand
December 17: Thailand vs India
December 19: Final (Group winner vs Group runner-up)
Goalkeepers: Manju Ganjhu, Anshika, Tanu
Defenders: Purnima Kumari, Jyoti Kumari, Nirmala Devi Phanjoubam, Shilky Devi Hemam, Kritina Devi Thounaojam, Nisha, Astam Oraon
Midfielders: Martina Thokchom, Priyangka Devi Naorem, Babina Devi Lisham, Amisha Baxla, Aveka Singh, Kiran, Daisy Crasto, Sunita Munda, Mariyammal Balamurugan
Forwards: Sumati Kumari, Lynda Kom Serto, Sai Sankhe.