ISLAMABAD: India will be looking to make it three out of three in the South Asian Football Federation (Saff) Women’s Championship when they face Nepal in the final at the Jinnah Stadium in Islamabad on Friday.
The two sides have faced off in the finals of both the previous editions, with India coming out on top each time.
However, despite history backing their team, India manager Indu Chaudhry says they will not be taking their opponents lightly. In fact, she said her girls were feeling the pressure.
“It’s going to be a tough match and we have to make the most of this opportunity and go for the win,” Indu told The Express Tribune. “We definitely feel the pressure since we’re going to be defending the title. It’s not an easy task. Nepal can’t be undermined or taken lightly; any side that can reach the final is capable of causing an upset. But we have a good strategy in place and we are mentally prepared for the challenge.”
Indu added that Baladevi, the championship’s top-scorer so far with 12 goals, has to live up to the expectations. The stand-in captain broke Jamuna Garung’s record of eight goals from 2012 and now has the most goals in a single Saff Championship.
Meanwhile, Nepal skipper Anu Lama said they were looking forward to fighting the odds and going for the crown after having lost it twice; first in 2010 and then again two years later.
“We have the ability to win the championship, so we’ll try our best to go for the win,” said Anu.
The Indian team are ranked 53rd in the world, while Nepal are 109th in the FIFA standings.