India women eye victory against Hong Kong in Turkish Cup

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Indian women's national team

Indian women's national team

Alanya (Turkey): Having played determined football to get the better of Estonia in their opening match, India would be looking forward to another successful outing when they face Hong Kong in the Turkish Women's Cup here on Saturday.


The 4-3 victory against Estonia was the first-ever for a senior Indian women's national team against a European side, and it would have raised the morale of the Chaoba Devi-coached side in the four-team round-robin tournament.

This will be India's fifth encounter against Hong Kong, ranked 79th in the FIFA rankings, and India would be buoyed by the fact that they have won all four previous games, netting 11 goals, while the opponents have managed just two.

In their most recent clash, a friendly in 2019, India won by a solitary goal courtesy of Pyari Xaxa, who also found the net in India's victory against Estonia in the ongoing tournament.


India currently leads the table with three points and a goal difference of plus one, while Hong Kong are at the bottom having yet to open their account and a goal difference of -1 after losing 0-1 to Kosovo.

Coach Chaoba Devi said Hong Kong had made a marked improvement since they last played in 2019 and her team would not underestimate the opponents.

"We played against Hong Kong a while ago, but they have shown significant improvement since then. We watched their recent match against Kosovo, where they put up a good fight despite losing by only one goal," said Chaoba Devi on the eve of the match.


"So, we can't underestimate them. We need to focus on our finishing, as we could have scored more goals in our first match against Estonia if our finishing was better. Today, we will do some finishing drills in our training to prepare for the Hong Kong match and ensure the girls are ready to perform well. It's our time to win this tournament," added Chaoba Devi.

Xaxa, who was a junior when the two teams met in 2019, recollected that she had come off the bench in the second half to score the all-important goal against Hong Kong.

"I was a junior player back then. I came off the bench in the second half and playing with experienced senior players on an international tour was a big thing for me. Despite facing tough opponents, I assisted my team and scored a goal.


"We played as a unit against Estonia and had a never-give-up attitude. If we continue this way, we can win against Hong Kong as well. We just need to press hard and believe in our ball control," she said.

Midfielder Anju Tamang said the win against Estonia was the result of cohesiveness in the side.

"After the Olympic Qualifiers Round 2, we are together and playing as a team. Winning against Estonia was an ample testimony of our cohesiveness. We need to keep ourselves motivated and play as a team, whatever happens. We will not take Hong Kong as an easy team and try to push our limits and win tomorrow also." Chaoba Devi added that the fine blend of young and experienced players was behind India's early success in the tournament.

"Our team's combination is really coming together nicely, and I feel fortunate to have some experienced players supporting me. Ashalata, our captain, plays a crucial role in defence and midfield. In midfield, Indumathi takes charge and controls the game.

"In our first match, we witnessed Indumathi's leadership on the field, guiding and motivating her teammates. When it comes to scoring, I knew she would do it. She consistently performs well in those situations, showcasing excellent footwork and skills."