AFC Women’s Olympic Qualifiers: Uzbekistan vs India Live
At stake are ‘pride, honour and reputation’ for the Indian Senior Women’s Team as they take on Uzbekistan in their last match of the Paris 2024 AFC Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament Round 2 on Wednesday, November 1, 2023, at the Bunyodkor Stadium in Tashkent at 5.30 pm IST.
Back-to-back losses against Japan and Vietnam have dashed the Blue Tigresses’ Paris dream. Two games where India went down fair and square despite showing glimpses of what they’re capable of. But head coach Thomas Dennerby reiterated that when you’re playing against teams of this level, just glimpses are never enough.
“Absolutely, the most important thing for us is to have a better build-up and not give away the ball easily. That’s the main problem. We need to fulfil our roles in the defensive organisation,” he said.
“But if we have our best day at work, I think we are definitely capable of getting a draw or a win against Vietnam. But some small individual mistakes destroyed that game,” he added.
But what’s gone is gone. Following losses to two World Cup teams, India face a rather familiar face in Uzbekistan. The Blue Tigresses played a friendly with the hosts in March at the Pakhtakor Stadium, losing 2-3. Goals from Dangmei Grace and Indumathi Kathiresan cancelled out Diyorakhon Khabibullaeva and Lyudmila Karachik’s strikes before Kamila Zaripova nicked the win in the 92nd minute.
Expecting a similar tight contest again tomorrow, Dennerby however, pointed out the biggest difference will be that this time, it’s a competitive match, and Uzbekistan’s Olympics hopes are still alive despite losing 0-2 to Japan on Sunday. Midori Honda’s side had beaten Vietnam 1-0 before that courtesy of Khabibullaeva’s goal.
“We play the host and it’s going to be crowded. But still, we need to play for our honour. We need to show that India are a good team. So I really hope that the girls are ready to fight even though we cannot come to the Olympics next year. But of course, fighting for your reputation and honour should be, I hope, enough motivation,” said Dennerby.