Navi Mumbai, Jan 22 (IANS) Held to a goalless draw by a fighting Iran team, Team India will be looking for three full points in a do-or-die clash with Chinese Taipei in their second Group A match in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022 on Sunday.
The match against Chinese Taipei is the only hope for India to gain some points as eight-time former champions China look too strong and had started their campaign with a 4-0 win against Chinese Taipei.
India have to win the match if they have to finish second in Group A. A draw will still keep them in contention for a third-place finish and an opportunity to get into the last-eight stage as the best two third-place finish.
India created plenty of chances against Iran but were denied by goalkeeper Zohreh Koudaei and steely defending while Chinese Taipei had to concede to the superiority of a potent China side.
India head coach Dennerby, while disappointed not to have taken full points against Iran, believes his team only need some minor adjustments to hit top gear offensively.
“I think we have a solid defence. We defended well (against Iran) whenever they tried to counter-attack. A few tweaks to our attack, and we will be ready for our next opponents,” said the 62-year-old Swede.
“My philosophy is to learn the lesson and look ahead. It’s always good to come up with points in your first game, you stand a better chance of moving to the next round. We need to follow our plan against Chinese Taipei.
“That game (Iran) is over. The result is what it is. We can never look back. Now we have to work on our finishing and go at it again in the second match and get the three points.
“The only thing we can do is focus on our opponents and not the table. Chinese Taipei lost to China PR but they are a good team and we must play well against them.”
Though Dennerby’s India are better prepared than their opponents having played big teams like Brazil even during the pandemic.
Head coach Kazuo Echigo believes his players will be at their best, especially as they have a score to settle against India.
Chinese Taipei lost 1-0 against India last October and Echigo said the memory of that result will drive his players on Sunday.
“This is a very tough competition. Everybody gave their best efforts throughout the game (against China PR),” said Echigo.
“The players need to recover after the tough game against China but they will be motivated for the India tie. We lost to them in October and the team want to avenge that defeat.”
With the top two teams to advance automatically to the quarter-finals, neither side can afford to drop points – setting the stage for a no-holds-barred contest on Sunday.