Women`s football team to play matches in China ahead of Asiad
Mumbai: The Indian women`s football team is set to depart for China tomorrow on an exposure tour to prepare for the tough competition in next month`s Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.
The 22-member squad would play some games in China as part of preparation for the 17th Asiad scheduled from September 19-October 4.
The initial list of 31 probables has been trimmed to 22, who would be on a 15-day tour from August 25 to September 9. They will move to Incheon directly from China, the All India Football Federation has announced.
The twice SAFF champions are expected to play three practice matches against top teams of the Chinese Women`s Super League - Jiangsu Huatai and Shanghai SVT.
The teams are currently placed second and third respectively in the League table. Either of the two teams will play India twice. The probable dates of the three matches are August 29, September 2/3 and September 5/6.
India are in Group A in the Asian Games along with last edition`s bronze medallists South Korea, Thailand and the Maldives. As per the draw, India are to take on the Maldives first on September 14.
The Indian women would play against their Korean counterparts on September 17 before taking on Thailand on September 21 to complete the preliminary group phase.
The Indian women last played in the Games back in 1998 at Bangkok, where they failed to qualify from their group. This will be only their second appearance in Asia`s largest sporting event held once every four years.
The 22-member squad:
Goalkeepers: Okram Roshni Devi, Aditi Chauhan, Pushpa Tirkey.
Defenders: Ashem Romi Devi, Ashalata Devi, Tuli Goon, Radharani Devi, Suprava Samal, Upamati Devi.
Midfielders: Premi Devi, Amoolya Kamal, Mandakini Devi, Oinam Bembem Devi, Kamala Devi, Supriya Routray, Indumati Kathiresan.
Forwards: Sasmita Malik, Prameshwori Devi, Dangmei Grace, Bala Devi, Jyoti Ann Burrett, Salam Rinaroy Devi.