Indian women’s football team who went down fighting to Uzbekistan on Monday will take on Belarus in their second game on the tour on Thursday.

Maymol Rocky’s team were denied by a late goal against the higher-ranked Uzbekistan as they lost 1-0 despite an excellent second-half display.

Against Belarus, who are ranked three places below India in the Fifa rankings, the coach will hope her players can produce a similar level of performance as the first game.

“Belarus maybe a couple of spots below us on the Fifa Rankings, but they are used to playing against strong European sides, and their level of competition is high. But our girls are getting fully prepared for the game, and I’m sure they will go all out,” India head coach Maymol Rocky said on the eve of the match.

India had good chances to score before the hosts struck their winner on Monday and despite the result, coach Maymol believes the team produced one of its better performances.

“It was a heartbreak against Uzbekistan, but if I consider all the recent matches, I think this was one of the best performances that we put out. Uzbekistan were under pressure in the second half, and we went all out for this game,” said Maymol.

India are yet to win a game in 2021 and have lost all four previous matches this year but they would take a lot of positives from their performances against some of the top European teams in recent games.

“We are very excited about our game against Belarus. We’ve taken lots of positives in the game against Uzbekistan. We know the things that we are doing well. We just need to work on certain areas,” said goalkeeper Aditi Chauhan.

“We are very confident to be going and stepping up against Belarus, against a very strong side, and I’m sure that the entire squad is up for it,” he added.

India are preparing their team for the 2022 AFC Asian Cup that they will enter as hosts and the coach has brought in several youngsters in the team to give them a chance.

“The youngsters that are coming in for the team, they will definitely be good, and if they give their 100%, we will definitely be in a better position for the Women’s Asian Championship 2022,” said Maymol.

With the Indian Women’s League postponed, the game against Belarus is likely to be the last piece of action the players get before a break and thus coach Rocky would like them to sign off with a win.

Match starts at 4:30 PM IST