Focus remains on winning next two games: Thomas Dennerby

Jamshedpur, Mar 20 : After producing two consecutive wins in the SAFF U-18 Women’s Championship, host India are sitting pretty atop the table with 6 points and now set further to achieve the remaining goals in the tournament with head coach Thomas Dennerby asserted that the young girls need to maintain focus to get the desired results in the next two plays. India takes on neighbouring Nepal in their next match on 21 March. “We came here with the ambition to try and win all the four games, and nothing has changed since then. We’ve won two, and two more games remain,” said Dennerby on the eve of India’s second match against Nepal which is set to take place at the JRD Tata Sports Complex. “If we can handle the game against Nepal in a good way and get another win, then it would be a really good situation for us in the last game against Bangladesh. Hopefully, we will have a good game tomorrow (Monday),” he said. India started the tournament with a bang, defeating Nepal 7-0 in the opening game, before earning a 1-0 victory over Bangladesh. Meanwhile, Bangladesh earned a 4-2 victory against Nepal, thus putting India on top of the table with six points, with Bangladesh following in a second. “I’m super happy that we have six points. That puts us in a good position in this tournament. But still, we could have done better in the first half against Bangladesh. We played a lot of long straight balls that were easy for Bangladesh to deal with,” explained Dennerby. “Even then we created the best chances in the first half, and maybe we should have scored a couple of goals in the second half as well. But we won the game, and that’s the most important thing.” While there are a couple of areas where the coach feels that the young Tigresses could still improve on, he is impressed with the defensive discipline. “I have to be satisfied with our defending. We have not allowed our opponents too many opport ties to score. I think Bangladesh had two chances against us, and Nepal only one. That speaks a lot about the defensive discipline we have,” said Dennerby. “We still have a few things to work on in our attacking game.” Local girl, Nitu Linda, has turned in two good performances, coming off from the bench to score a goal each against Nepal and Bangladesh. The young attacker echoed her coach’s concerns of maintaining focus over the next two games. XC-PC RN

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