Even a roller coaster has less twists and turns than the Indian Women’s National Team’s Asian Campaign. After a 15-0 thrashing of Maldives and succumbing to a 10-0 defeat against South Korea, the Indian Eves face an uphill task of defeating 30th ranked Thailand, to keep their Asian Dreams alive.
As is the case, implementing new, and moreover a defensive formation takes time to settle in. Only a team with versatile personnel can master this art, days before any fixture. Coach Tarun Roy reverted to his oxymoronic tactical brilliance, allotting a 5-4-1 against South Korea, but lack of versatile personnel amounted to a 10-0 demolition, conceding three cheap goals in the first 10 minutes itself.
“It was 5-4-1 system, the girls were new to it, and it was done keeping in mind Korea’s all out attacking style. I wanted our team to break on the counter. The house came down within ten minutes”
“There cannot be any excuses for this landslide. The team was lacklustre from start to finish.”
“We were blown up by our own bomb” said Tarun honestly, perhaps being too exposed in behaving otherwise.
India failed to register even one shot at the South Korean Goal.
“The Girls know they have been dismal. We failed to stitch a concrete move and work their goalkeeper. But that is life and you have to keep the past behind.” commented Roy
A failed 5-4-1 experimentation would be quickly rectified to a much suitable 4-2-3-1, as India are expected to line by the following. Ashalata Devi is expected to fill the boots of Talisman Bembem Devi, who was sent off against South Korea. Radharani Devi is expected to partner Romi Devi, creating a tight defensive pairing.
Thailand on the contrary, come into this fixture beating whipping girls Maldives 10-0. A win would ensure progression to the quarter finals for each team, however a loss would initiate a demonic road, where one could perish easily.
“This will be a make or break game for us” added Roy nervously, fully abreast of the ramifications of another defeat which could land them in their toughest test yet, against World Champions Japan in the next round.
Scheduled for a 13:30 kick-off on the 21st of September, India versus Thailand, is set to be a mouth-watering clash. Given the complete dominance of a single team in recent matches, this tie is sure to display the competitive nature of the Asian Games. While Thailand will field their Best XI, India would miss Bembem Devi, one of the most experienced players of the team, deeply.