The Indian Women’s football team produced yet another lacklusture performance during the on-going 19th edition of the Asian Games 2023 here at Hangzhou, China. They met Thailand in their 2nd Group stage fixture, having been already knocked out of the tournament after losing their first Group match.
A 3-1 defeat to the hands of Chinise Taipei in the first match itself had put India under tremendous pressure. Their hopes of reaching the next stage of Asian Games were clouded already and a 1-0 defeat today ended all speculaions.
Asian Games: Indian women's football team bows out following loss to Thailand
— ANI Digital (@ani_digital) September 24, 2023
Thomas Dennerby’s side will be extremely disappointed while taking their return flight to India. His side despite creating dozens of chances to score, ultimately failed to convert even half of those. Dennerby would have expected his side to remain composed in the final third and it will be something that the Swedish head coach will look to implement.
And there are plenty of reasons for them to do so. The Indian women’s team will now start preparing for the 2nd round of the Asian Women’s Olympic Qualifying matches, set to start from 26th October. They might have faced Chinise Taipei and Thailand as 2 really tough opponents but the challenge will now be even tougher.
They are all set to face a Japanese side that is currently ranked No.1 in Asia and No. 8 in the World as per FIFA’s latest rankings. The main talking point is that India are carrying a very less amount of momentum heading into the Olympic qualifiers.
For those who watched India lose 1-0 to Thailand, must be scratching their heads in utter sadness after seeing the team thwarting chances after chances. The score line remained 0-0 in the first 45 minutes with India doing most of the defensive duties.
Then in the second half, that little glimmer of hope was eclipsed by a Thailand goal scored by Parichat Thongrong 6 minutes after the 2nd half began.
India’s morale was expected to go down but that was when the Indian girls started creating some serious chances. 10 minutes after conceding, Anju Tamang found the back of the net only for the linesman referee to call it Off-side. A few minutes later, India reached closer to an equalizer but a poor positional play by the wingers led the referee to raise the Off-side flag once again.
So all that the Indian team is returning with from Hangzhou is a lot of insights as to what needs to be done in the future.