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SAFF Women's Championship: India need to be more aggressive against Maldives, says coach Suren Chettri

Kathmandu, Sep 9 )IANS) After collecting three points in the opening match against Pakistan, Indian Women’s Team Head Coach Suren Chettri feels the “team needs to improve on certain areas to get the job done.”

India are next slated to play Maldives tomorrow (September 10) at the Dashrath Stadium in Kathmandu.

“We dominated a larger part of the game against Pakistan. But there is still a lot of room for improvement,” Suren said. “We need to work on our passing, and penetration.”

At the practice session, coach Suren meant serious business. The girls were put through certain drills, and repeated them. Though India had more of the domination and possession against Pakistan, Suren wants them to be more penetrative against Maldives.

“We will make more of the ball possession which is very important. The girls need to have more passion on the field,” Suren said.

“They (Maldives) don’t play much attacking football. But it is very hard to break them down as they defend in numbers. Hence, we need to be more aggressive.”

Captain Ashalata Devi, a perfectionist, is the role model for the younger lot. She has also been the leader both on the off the field, getting them to stay close. The job, she understands, is not yet done.

“We are taking it one match at a time. There is no place to rejoice in such a tournament. The moment you tend to relax, you will be caught napping on the field. The coach has put in certain plans, and it is now our duty to execute them on the field,” Ashalata said.

Ashalata had played against Maldives in the SAFF Women’s Championship in 2019 where India won by 6-0.

“I have played Maldives before in the South Asian Games, and am aware of some of their strategies. I have shared all of that with my teammates. We need to come back home with the three points,” she added.

Maldives will come into the match on the back of a 0-3 loss against Bangladesh in their first match. Head Coach Ahmed Dunga Shareef feels the girls are “ready for the challenges despite being drawn in a tougher group.”

“We are in a group of death. We next face defending champions India. But we have certain plans for them, and will come with our surprises,” Shareef said.

–IANS

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