CPD FOOTBALL | THE BLOG | The World of Indian football and beyond by Chris Punnakkattu Daniel

India U-19 Women's team take on Lebanon in last group match

India U-19 Women's national team

India U-19 Women's national team

The India U-19 Women’s national team will take on Lebanon in their last Group A match of the AFC U-19 Women’s Championship Qualifiers on Sunday (November 9). Both the teams are already out of contention for the place in the 2015 finals having lost their first two matches.

While India lost to Uzbekistan 0-2 in the first match and 1-3 to Lebanon in their second; the Lebanon U-19 Women went down to hosts Jordan 0-3 in their first encounter and lost 0-7 to Uzbekistan in their second.

Head coach Priya PV rues “poor finishing” which cost India both their matches.

“Poor finishing cost us dear. We should have won both our matches but were not able to capitalise on the chances we created. In our first match against Uzbekistan, we came back strongly in the second half and played good football,” she says.

“In our next match against Jordan, we dominated all throughout but paid for not being able to find the target. We should have won both our matches but couldn’t.”

“We aim to finish on a high and will play to win against Lebanon,” she declares.

Lebanon coach Hiba Jaafil informs that the “average age of her team is 16 years.”

“We didn’t have training fields to practice. Hence, we practiced on the beach and played beach soccer,” she quips. “We started with 60 players and then brought it down to 40 and then trimmed the squad to 23.”

At the Hotel Lobby, Hiba walks up to the Indian contingent and utters “hard luck,” in reference to India’s loss against Jordan. “That’s football,” she smiles and then shrugs her shoulders.

“But mind you, next day when we play, we will beat you,” she utters in a friendly banter and smiles again.

Meanwhile, the decider of the group will also be played on Sunday when hosts Jordan take on Uzbekistan with the winners qualifying to the final phase to be held in China in 2015. In case of a draw, Uzbekistan, by virtue of better goal difference will qualify.

India’s kick-off against Lebanon on November 9 (Sunday) is at 16.00 IST.

(Report & Picture courtesy AIFF Media)