Sports News | We hope to break through Iranian defense to start with victory: Dennerby

Mumbai, Jan 18 (PTI) India head coach Thomas Dennerby said on Tuesday that the hosts would aim to break through a strong Iranian defense with an attacking game to earn a win in their opener of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup here on Thursday.

The match against Iran would be crucial for India in their bid to qualify for the quarter-finals. Iran are the lowest ranked team in Group A, which also includes China and Chinese Taipei. They are ranked 70th in the world against India’s 55th.

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“Our first goal is to reach the quarter-finals, we think we have a realistic chance of doing that. Iran are going to be a very tough game. We’ve been following them through videos and it’s really a ( team) of combat.” Dennerby said during a virtual media interaction ahead of Thursday’s game.

“They (Iran) have a solid defence, they defend very well around their box. It will be a challenge for us to score. It will not be an easy game. We hope that with a creative and good passing game , we can break through their defence,” he added.

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“We have a lot of players who can create chances and score goals. We have to be good throughout the game.”

A victory against Iran will give India a great chance to qualify for the knockout stage – the quarter-finals. A place in the quarter-finals will virtually guarantee at least a place in the intercontinental play-offs for the 2023 FIFA World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

Five teams from the tournament will qualify directly for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup while two others will qualify for the intercontinental play-offs. Australia, who finished second in the last edition of the AFC Asian Cup, have already qualified for the 2023 FIFA World Cup as co-hosts.

“Obviously it’s a big challenge for us, but it’s also a really big opportunity. If we qualify for the quarter-finals, we have a chance to qualify for the FIFA World Cup next year. and it will be huge for Indian football,” said captain Ashalata Devi.

“We hope that the Asian Cup hosted in India will give a big boost to women’s football in our country.”

India beat Iran 1-0 in 2019 in Bhubaneswar when the two teams last met.

(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from syndicated newsfeed, LatestLY staff may not have edited or edited the body of the content)

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