Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India]October 16 (ANI): India U17 head coach Thomas Dennerby wants his team to play freely now that they have nothing to lose in the FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup following their early group stage exit from the tournament.
“When we have the ball, we have to feel relaxed and start playing. We have to be confident and play a little more. Now we have nothing to lose. I hope the girls start playing freely,” a message from AIFF quoted Dennerby as saying.
Hosts India are already out of the World Cup after losing their first two group stage matches against USA (0-8) and Morocco (0-3). On Monday, they face mighty Brazil, who are considered a force to be reckoned with in women’s football. In the latest FIFA rankings released earlier this week, Brazil’s senior girls are in ninth place.
Dennerby is well aware of Brazil’s reputation, but at the same time believes his wards are capable of proving themselves on the pitch. “We have to focus very hard on defending, but we also know that football is not only about defending. It would be nice for us to score in the tournament,” he said.
“Hopefully we can have another good performance. Brazil is a good team. And we also know that Brazil are fighting to secure their place in the knockout stages. So I think they will come out with all guns blazing,” the coach added.
The Indian girls, Dennerby said, are ready to play for their glory against Brazil.
“We will fight and try to score a goal. It would be nice to come out of this tournament with a goal,” he said.
“We have been working on the final decisive pass – the actions around the opponents’ box. It is also the most difficult part in football – learning exactly how to deal with those types of situations.” “The girls need to have a better understanding of decision-making – we also need to work a little on the skills in the decisive moments, because at the end of the day the result of all games is decided in the two boxes,” said the Swedish coach.
India’s senior women’s national team had played against Brazil in November 2021 and lost 1-6. The coach thinks there are similarities in the style of play between Brazil’s seniors and juniors.
“The playing style of this team is similar. Of course they are not that skilled yet, but that is normal when you are 17. I will say that it is even tougher to play against the youth team because in a senior team you have the best players from your country. When you play the age group, you have to pick up players only from a certain age group,” he said.
“Back in Brazil they start playing football from a very early age which is a big advantage. But hopefully we can show them tomorrow that we have a good starting eleven in India as well,” the coach said. “Shilky Devi, who was used as a substitute in the senior team’s match against Brazil, said: “I know how strong Brazil are – their fitness level and the way they attack. I was lucky enough to get the chance to play against them for a while and it was a huge learning experience for me. Their speed, their passing accuracy and the quick decisions they make were things I observed during that game.””It will be another great opportunity for us to score against such strong rivals, but we have to do it tomorrow. It is a matter of our pride and honor now,” the defender said.
Striker Lynda Kom also believes it will be a good chance for the team to put their best foot forward and play a good brand of football against strong opponents.
“We want to score and put in a strong performance against Brazil. We will not give up and throw everything we have as it will be our last game in the ongoing World Cup,” said Lynda. (ANI)