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SAFF U-16 Championship

SAFF U-16 Women's Championship: India vs Nepal Live

Published at :March 7, 2024 at 12:32 PM
Modified at :March 7, 2024 at 12:41 PM
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After a disappointing 1-3 loss to Bangladesh on Tuesday, India will look to bounce back and book their SAFF U-16 Women’s Championship final berth when they take on hosts Nepal on Thursday, March 7, 2024, at the ANFA Complex in Lalitpur at 14:45 IST. 

India suffered an early setback after Alpi Akter’s ninth-minute strike put Bangladesh ahead, but despite Anushka Kumari’s fourth goal of the tournament bringing the Young Tigresses level in the second half, they conceded two more in the later stages for their first defeat in the competition.

“The players are obviously upset after the loss,” said head coach Biby Thomas. “The team were confident before yesterday’s game, but a small mistake allowed Bangladesh to take an early lead and the girls panicked a bit. We still had more than 80 minutes to try and get back in the game. It took time to get into our rhythm after the early setback, and we did score the equaliser in the second half, but we conceded again after another defensive lapse.”

The Young Tigresses were left chasing for the majority of the game and did not play to their full potential. Thomas believes his girls can perform much better than yesterday’s showing.

“We created much more attacking chances than Bangladesh, and we should’ve converted more than just one. We were good in terms of position, but the communication was lacking.

“In these situations, experience does matter a lot. It’s the first time these girls are playing in such an atmosphere. There’s a difference between the training pitch and international matches.”

Since India have a better goal difference than Nepal, a point will be enough for the Young Tigresses to progress to the final and set up a rematch with Bangladesh. However, the approach is always to win, affirmed Thomas. The girls arrived in Nepal with the mentality to go for three points in all games, and despite things not going according to plan yesterday, they will not let the loss affect them psychologically and are eager to right the wrongs.

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