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Indian women U-16 football team face tough Iran test

An acid test awaits India as they prepare to take on a strong Iran team in the their opening game of 2015 AFC U-16 Women's Championship China Qualifiers at the Bangabandhu Stadium here on Friday.

PTI| Updated: Oct 16, 2014, 14:58 PM IST
Indian women U-16 football team face tough Iran test

Dhaka: An acid test awaits India as they prepare to take on a strong Iran team in the their opening game of 2015 AFC U-16 Women's Championship China Qualifiers at the Bangabandhu Stadium here on Friday.

Having watched the teens in red steamroll United Arab Emirates by a whopping 9-0 margin in the first game of Group B yesterday, the blue brigade - the only team left to open its account - will have learnt that it have to be on its toes if it is to bag all three crucial points.

Prior to match day all the talk was surrounding Jordan, the highest ranked team in the group. They travelled to the land of the world champions Germany to rehearse for the meet.

But after hosts Bangladesh pulled off a stunning 0-1 upset, it seems Iran are well and truly the early pacesetters.

The flip side to the story though is that Iran's opponents, by their own admission, do not hold much water. According to UAE team manager Aliah Hussain AbdulRahman this is the country's first female team playing its first international competition.

"We don't have a senior team for women," Aliah who is also donning the hat of a translator, told reporters at the post-match media interaction.

"This is our first team for women of any kind. We played the AFC U-14 Championship (AFC U-14 Girls Regional Championship 2013 for the South and Central region) last year but that was only one group affair.

This is the team we are building for future. This will be our first team."

As if this drubbing was expected, UAE's Tunisian head coach Samir Laldolsi added that "we need to give this time. We don't expect good results here. We are still learning".

India have their work cut out on the strike duo of Iranian captain Fatehmeh Geraeli and Fetemeh Ghasemi who wrecked havoc in opponent goal.

"They are two really good strikers," remarked India's head coach Maymol Rocky.

"We have to be very careful against them. They are ever-ready to pounce on any loose ball."