The Indian Women’s National Team after a crushing 15-0 victory against Maldives, have almost ensured their way out of the preliminary round. However, a litmus test against two time winners South Korea on 17th September 16:30 IST, would check their pedigree and steele.
South Korea, who qualified for next year’s FIFA World Cup in Canada after a gap of 11 years, did their reputation of hot favourites no harm when they thumped Thailand 5-0 in their opening game. They already have an attacking style of play, harassing and hassling the opponent defenders with their swift passing movement.
“I have watched them play against Thailand and they are a very attacking team. They play a high line and their full backs overlap at every instance. They are like wingers. To negate that threat we need to play smart and mark them tightly. We will look to pounce on the counter and play deep with five defenders. I am mulling a 5-4-1,” said Indian Head Coach Tarun Roy
On paper, the 5-4-1 looks good against opponents such as the Koreans, but football, is seldom won on drawing sheets. The injury stuck Indian Contingent will be looking to replace Tuli Goon, the ex-Indian Captain, with Suprava Samal. The Backline would be built around the solid defensive partnership of Radharani Devi, Romi Devi, and Ashalata Devi. Indian Legend Bemben Devi, who scored a beauty against Maldives, is expected to pull the string and dictate the midfield alongwith Premi. Sasmita Malik, who scored five against Maldives is expected to operate wide alongwith Prameshwori Devi, on the opposite flank. The Inform Bala Devi, who scored a brace against Maldives would be leading the line against the Koreans.
The team will have to work as a single unit, if victory is to be snatched. Wingers Sasmita and Prameshwori, will have a tough task on their hands, marking the bombarding South Korean Full backs, reckons Roy.
“We need to play cleverly but not negatively. Three points is what we are aiming for.” adds Roy
Perhaps the tie against South Korea, will paint an exact image of the quality, skill and talent of the Indian Contingent. Given that, Two teams would advance through to the next round from a group of three teams, it is impossible to see India not qualify, with the superior goal difference already giving them an edge. A win for both the contingents, would not only see them through, but also ensure that key players be rested for the third and final match.