India will take on Thailand in a must-win match of the U-17 women’s football tournament at the Mumbai Football Arena in Mumbai on Tuesday.
In the third and final league-stage match, the hosts will need a victory to seal a place in the final against Sweden which is slated for December 19.
India coach Thomas Dennerby said that the team is looking forward to the challenge and the girls have a good chance of earning the win.
“The mood in the camp is good. It is a new situation tomorrow – we need to win if we want to play the final. We’re looking forward to the challenge. Thailand have good players but we have a good chance too,” he said.
Dennerby, who was appointed as the Head coach in November talked about how the experience will also be helpful for the players to learn how to handle pressure.
“Pressure is part of the game. It is good for the players to learn how to handle stress. This is a friendly tournament but by the time the World Cup arrives, there will be a lot more pressure and it’s good the girls will get to learn.”
Both India and Thailand enter the match on the backs of losses against Sweden. While India went down 0-3 in the tournament opener, Thailand lost 1-3 to Sweden.
“Thailand play very wide with centre-backs, high-positioning full-backs. They try to build attacks from the goalkeeper. Their number 8 (Janista Jinantuya) was involved in 70% of the chances they created against Sweden and we have to make sure we close her down well and not give her free space,” the coach explained.
On the other hand, Thailand head coach Sarawut Suksawang said that he is hoping for an interesting game between the two Asian sides.
“India are a very good team and have developed a lot recently. We hope that both teams will play well and we will get to see an interesting match,” he said.
He also thanked the All India Football Federation (AIFF) for providing the opportunity for his players to gain “invaluable experience”.
“I must thank the AIFF for inviting us here for such a good tournament. We have got the opportunity to play a top European team and India who will be hosting the FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup next year. We appreciate the opportunity as our players will gain invaluable experience and learn a lot,” he said.