Friendly matches against Nepal good preparation for Olympic Qualifiers: Dennerby

NEW DELHI, 14 Feb: India women’s football team head coach Thomas Dennerby wants his players to take the two international friendly matches against Nepal here on February 15 and 18 as an opportunity to prepare for the Olympic Qualifiers.
The friendly matches will be played at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium and India will be favourites to win them, though Nepal, of late, have shown a steady resurgence.
“We are not looking for results at the moment. Our main aim is to build the team for the Olympic Qualifiers, and these matches (friendly against Nepal) are part of that process,” said Dennerby on Tuesday.
Nepal defeated India 1-0 in the semifinals of 2022 SAFF Women’s Championships in Kathmandu.
More recently, the India U-20 women’s team suffered a 1-3 loss to Nepal in the SAFF U-20 Championship in Dhaka. The defeat knocked India out of contention for a spot in the final.
India have been placed in Group G of the AFC Women’s Olympic Qualifiers First Round, alongside Turkmenistan and the Kyrgyz Republic, with the matches set to be played in April.
“Nepal are a good side, of course, and it will be a good opportunity for our girls to come back to the pace of international football,” said Dennerby.
“We have been training in Chennai, but international matches are international matches. The pace is different, and that’s the best way to prepare for the Qualifiers.” India midfielder Indumathi Kathiresan, who is a local girl, said, “I hope we can inspire more young girls to not only take up the sport, but also keep playing it in the future as well.” (PTI)