KOLKATA: On a day when their big brothers lock horns in a World Cup qualifier here at the Salt Lake stadium, young girls from India and Bangladesh face each other for the glory in SAFF U-15 Women’s Championship at Chalimithang Stadium in Thimphu on Tuesday.
Scoring 14 goals in their first two matches of the campaign against Nepal and hosts Bhutan, India hit a roadblock in the last group league game on Sunday as they were held to a 1-1 draw by the same opponents. So, ahead of the big clash, India coach Alex Ambrose clearly knows that Bangladesh will be a tough nut to crack, again.
“The final is always going to be a tough match for both the teams. It’s all about how you perform on the day of the match. If you play well for 90 minutes, the final is yours. It’s all about performing well and working hard,” Ambrose said on the eve of the final.
India finished top of the group stage with seven points from three matches, the same number of points as Bangladesh. However, India were ahead by the virtue of a better goal difference (+12). India have scored 15 goals and conceded one each in their three group matches, while Bangladesh have scored five times and conceded one less than the girls in blue jersey.
Ambrose, however, is well aware of the fact that past results hold nothing. Bangladesh head coach Golam Rabbani Choton also echoed Ambrose’s feelings saying the match will swing the way of the team that takes its chances.
“It will be another crucial match. We have played really well in our last three matches. I think the final will be all about taking the opportunities. Whichever team takes their opportunities, will come out with the win,” opined Choton.
Ambrose also spoke about the importance of his players enjoying the game, despite it being a final. “It’s all about enjoying your football and winning, at the end of the day. I’m happy to see everyone really working hard. It’s good to see that these girls are taking football seriously, given the amount of support that the federation and the coaches are putting in so that they can go on and make a living out of the game,” he said. The match starts at 5.30 pm IST.