Biratnagar, Nepal, Mar 19: Defending champion India are all set to face challenge from Bangladesh in the semifinal match of the SAFF Women's Championship to be played at the Sahid Rangashala Stadium here on Wednesday in Biratnagar, Nepal.
Maymol Rocky's side heads into the encounter on the back of victories against Maldives (6-0) and Sri Lanka (5-0) in the group stages and the coach feels that her wards are focused on the job at hand.
"The girls are in good shape ahead of the semifinal," she told. "On Monday, the emphasis was on recovery and we had a couple of fun activities as well. Then, we followed it up with a heavy session in training and the players are focused on and ready for the match," Maymol stated.
The team has been together since December last year and has played international fixtures in Hong Kong, Indonesia and Turkey along with the inaugural Hero Gold Cup in India, before travelling to Nepal. As they look to inch closer towards their fifth straight SAFF crown, the coach hailed the effort shown by the players during this period.
"I highly appreciate the girls for the work they have put in. I'm sure they must be missing home and travelling for so long can take its toll. I'm happy that these youngsters are so focused!" she said, before adding, "Football keeps all of us united and so does the honour of representing the country."
In the last meeting between the two sides, it was India that finished on top with a 7-1 scoreline at the 2020 Olympic Qualifiers Round 1 in November 2018 in Myanmar. "The previous result is not on our minds.
This is a knockout fixture, so it will be a different ballgame," declared Maymol.
The last two matches at the SAFF Championship have seen India seize the initiative in attack right from the word go, with the first goals coming in the first 10 minutes of the games on both occasions. The coach feels that their opponents will be wary of the same and it will make the match more exciting.
"I'm sure the match will interesting and good to watch. We will play our attacking game and even if we do not get an early goal, we will get them sooner or later. Bangladesh will come out strong and the girls will respond too and go all guns blazing," Maymol stated. (UNI)