Category: Womens

Maymol Rocky believes it’s time for her side to take the next step

NEW DELHI: Senior Indian Women’s National Team Head Coach Maymol Rocky believes that it is now time for her side to “take the next step” up the Asian Football ladder, after their good showing in the Olympic Qualifiers last season.

She said, “Now, it’s time for us, as a team, to take things forward from here. We missed out in Round 2 of the Olympic Qualifiers by a whisker, but I feel that our next objective should definitely be the AFC Qualifiers. Qualification for the Asian Championship will be a big step for this team, and that is something that we all need to prepare ourselves for.” 

The Indian Women’s National Team had created history last year, progressing to the AFC Olympic Qualifiers for the first time in the side’s history. They further went on to put out a brilliant performance in the second round of the Olympic Qualifiers, only falling behind home side Myanmar on goal difference.

With the team departing for Spain on Saturday (July 20, 2019) to play in the COTIF Cup, the India Head Coach believes that her team is now much better suited to face the tough teams that the tournament has to offer. 

“We played the COTIF Cup last year as well, but I think we are more prepared this time around. The players have really improved over this last year, and we saw that in the AFC Olympic Qualifiers Round 1 and Round 2,” she stated.

The team has had a three-week-long training camp at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi and Rocky believes that the “new training techniques” that she and the coaching staff have implemented over the course of the camp have put the team in good stead.

 “It’s been a very fruitful few weeks at the camp, where we have implemented some new training techniques. The results are really paying off, as I’ve seen a number of the player make good improvements over this period,” Rocky said.

The camp also saw the introduction of a number of new faces, many of whom had impressed the Head Coach with their performances in the Hero Indian Women’s League, earlier this year. While Rocky believes that these players still have a long road ahead of them, proper work can get them to the levels where they may get the desired results for the Tricolour.

“We brought a number of new faces to the camp, and they have been adjusting to the different training techniques and schedules really well. Of course, they all have a long way to go to reach the levels we are aiming for, but there’s nothing that hard work and dedication can’t achieve,” Rocky concluded.

The fixtures for the tournament are below:

August 1, 2019: India vs Guinea 

August 3, 2019: India vs Bolivia 

August 4, 2019: Mauritiana vs India

August 5, 2019: Spain vs India 

August 8, 2019: Final 

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Linthoingambi Devi, Aditi Chauhan, Sowmiya Narayansamy

Defenders: Sweety Devi, Jabamani Tudu, Ashalata Devi, Michel Castanha, Pakpi Devi

Midfielders: Sangita Basfore, Sanju Yadav, Ratanbala Devi, Manisha, Ritu Rani, Grace Lalrampari, Ranjana Chanu

Forwards: Anushka Samuel, Dangmei Grace, Anju Tamang, Bala Devi, Renu, Roja Devi, Daya Devi

66.7% win record elevates Indian women’s team to 57 in FIFA rankings

NEW DELHI: A 66.7 % win record in the last 18 matches played since January 2019 propelled the Indian Senior Women’s National Team to jump 6 places to 57 in the FIFA Women’s Ranking released on July 12, 2019. Currently, the Indian women are ranked 11th in Asia.

Since January 2019, the women’s have played 18 matches winning 12, drawn 1, and lost 5. The matches are from their exposure tours to Hong Kong, Indonesia, Turkey, the SAFF Championship in Nepal, the AFC Olympic Qualifiers Round 2 in Myanmar, besides the inaugural Hero Gold Cup international tournament in Bhubaneswar. The team is next slated to play the COTIF Cup in Spain later this month.

Head Coach Maymol Rocky credited the players “for working hard” for the rise in the FIFA ladder.

“The entire nation will be happy that the Women’s Team has climbed six spots in the FIFA Rankings. The entire credit goes with the girls. They have worked hard for it, and we need to work harder from now on,” Maymol said.

Iconic Indian striker Sunil Chhetri, currently the second highest goal scorer in International Football among active players with 70 goals stated that he is “extremely proud of the girls.”

“They have been doing really well. I’m really proud of the girls. I’ve spoken to them once before recently, and told them they can do wonders. I hope they keep working hard, keep doing what they are doing. I’m sure things will keep on improving,” Chhetri said from Ahmedabad, where the Blue Tigers are playing in the ongoing Hero Intercontinental Cup.

The women’s team are currently camping in the Capital for their preparation for the forthcoming COTIF Cup.

AIFF’s Director of National Teams, and former India captain Abhishek Yadav added that the “women’s football have picked up the momentum.”

“Women’s football in India has picked up momentum. AIFF along with Sports Authority of India, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, and Government of Odisha have a dedicated plan to promote women’s football, and provide further exposure to the Women’s Senior National team,” he explained.

AIFF Player of the Year 2018-19 Ashalata Devi felt “the aim should be to climb higher.”

“Currently, we are 11th in Asia. We are aware of our abilities. The self-belief after the exposure tours has been driving us. We need to break into the top 10 in Asia.”

Goalkeeper Aditi Chauhan added: “As a team we are really proud of the effort which we put in, and the results we’ve got since assembling in December last year. Our new ranking will motivate us further to keep pushing ourselves.”

“There is a bit of a gap between the top-ranked teams, and where we are at the moment. But everyone – the players, the staff, AIFF, the Government are working very hard to provide the girls all the facilities to close down that gap,” the Coach explained.

Indian women’s football team better than men’s, says Sunil Chhetr

NEW DELHI: All India Football Federation General Secretary Mr. Kushal Das congratulated the Indian Senior Women’s National Team in a meet and greet session at the Capital on Saturday evening (March 23, 2019) after the Indian women beat Nepal 3-1 in the final to retain the SAFF Championship for the 5thconsecutive time.

Ms. Swati Kothari, General Manager, AIFF was also present on the occasion.

“Congratulations to all of you. Well done,” Mr. Das said. “There has been a definite improvement in the manner the women’s team has been playing. Good luck for the Olympic qualifiers (round 2). We feel, that you can achieve it, and move to the next round,” he stated.

The girls were also in for a major surprise when Padma Shri Sunil Chhetri was live with them via a video conference.

“Extremely proud of all of you,” Chhetri declared. “I have always maintained that the women’s team is much better than the men,” Chhetri expressed, much to the applause of the entire squad.

“Go there, and give your best in Myanmar. I have been keeping a track of all of you playing. Keep up the good work,” Chhetri, who had scored India’s match-winner against Myanmar in the AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers in Yangon, wished.

AIFF President Mr. Praful Patel also congratulated the women’s team on the success.

Congratulations to our women’s football team for winning the #SAFF Championship. You have once again proved that you are the true champions. Keep up the good work and add many feathers of success to your crown. Best wishes!’ he tweeted from his personal account @praful_patel.

The girls came back recently from Nepal winning the SAFF Senior Women’s Championship for the fifth consecutive time, and in the process stay unbeaten in 23 matches in the Championship.

“Great job. Extremely proud,” Chhetri gave a thumbs up.

Mr. Das reiterated that “qualifying from Round 2 of the Olympic qualifiers will be a big thing for Indian Football.”

“We are on the right track. The AIFF will continue to support and help. We intend to be a force to reckon with in Asian Football soon. The journey has just started,” Mr. Das expressed.

Head Coach Maymol Rocky thanked all for the “exposure tours.”

“We are heading into the round 2 of the Olympic qualifiers with an experience of 14 International matches. I never doubted the quality and commitment of my players. We are a young team, and all credit goes to the girls,” she stated.

Dalima Chibber who scored off a free-kick in the final, and was adjudged as the ‘Most Valuable Player’ in the SAFF Championship, explained that she has “improved as a player in the last 4 months.”

“I feel everyone in the team will agree that we have improved as players since the time we assembled in December in Odisha. The exposure tour in Turkey helped us immensely,” Dalima informed.

India have been clubbed with hosts Myanmar, Nepal and Indonesia in the round 2 of the Olympic qualifiers which kick-off in Mandalay. The first match against Indonesia is slated for April 3.

Indian womens beat Nepal to clinch fifth straight SAFF title

BIRATNAGAR (NEPAL): India continued its dominance at the SAFF Women’s Championship with the team lifting its fifth straight title on Friday (March 22, 2019) in Biratnagar, Nepal with a 3-1 win over the hosts in the final.

The win extends India’s unbeaten run in the tournament’s history to 23 games as goals from Dalima Chhibber, Grace Dangmei and substitute Anju Tamang saw India lift the trophy in front of a partisan crowd at the Sahid Rangashala Stadium.

The pace of the match was intense from the word go, with both sides pressing hard from the first whistle. Grace Dangmei fashioned a couple of early chances down the right wing for India while Nepal registered a couple of shots from distance, with Manjali Kumar testing Indian custodian Aditi Chauhan in the 14th minute.

Just three minutes later, after some excellent build-up play down the right, Sandhiya laid off a ball for Sanju to shoot from the top of the box. The winger’s effort was a powerful one but was saved by the opposition keeper. On the other end, Sabitra Bhandari posed a threat for India inside the penalty area but her curling effort was off target.

In the semifinal against Bangladesh, it was Dalima who opened the scoring for India and this time around too, it was the right-back who gave India the advantage. In the 26th minute, she smashed the ball the past the keeper from a free-kick from 30 yards with a powerful drive and put the defending champions into a 1-0 lead.

Ratanbala Devi could have added a second goal six minutes later but her shot from distance from saved by the Nepal goalie. In the 34th minute though, Sabitra equalized for the hosts as she rose high above her marker and headed the ball into the back of the net.

The break saw both sides go locked at a goal apiece but it could have easily been either team with the lead. Grace failed to connect well with a cross from Sanju down the left in the 41st minute and Aditi made a brilliant double save to deny Sabitra in first half stoppage time.

The second half began with India creating the majority of the opportunities, with Sanju and Ratanbala putting their respective efforts just over the bar. Nepal were under the cosh and India’s pressure paid off in the 63th minute after Sanju put Grace through on goal with a delightful through ball.

The winger swiftly broke through and showing great composure, she rounded the goalkeeper and slotted the ball home to restore India’s advantage. It proved to be the straw that broke the camel’s back as the away side continued to keep the Nepal side at bay and almost added another as Ratanbala’s shot wasspilled by the keeper.

Coach Maymol Rocky brought on Anju Tamang in place of Sandhiya midway through the second half at the top of the pitch and in the 78th minute, the move paid rich dividends as she slammed the ball on the volley for India’s third after a crafty first-time assist from Indumathi Kathiresan.

Towards the end, Nepal threw the kitchen sink at the Indian defence but they refused to bow down and stood firm. Sabitra and Renuka Nagarkote threatened to halve the deficit but could not get past Aditi in goal as India romped to a fifth SAFF trophy in a row. 

India Starting XI: Aditi Chauhan (GK); Jabamani Tudu, Sweety Devi (Ranjana Chanu 90′), Ashalata Devi, Dalima Chhibber; Indumathi Kathiresan, Sangita Basfore, Ratanbala Devi; Sanju, Dangmei Grace, Sandhiya Ranganathan (Anju Tamang 64′).