India are clearly vulnerable in the opening match of their four-nation women’s tournament against mighty Brazil, but head coach Thomas Dennerby said on Wednesday that his side will fight “till the last whistle”.
India will play world number seven Brazil on Friday before taking on Chile (November 29) and Venezuela (December 2).
Considered to be the world’s greatest female footballer, Marta has been included in the Brazilian team.
“The mindset to go into matches is to win. I never tell my players that I am happy with a 0-1 or 0-2 loss.
“But, we also need to understand that you cannot win all the games. However, we want a winning mindset, where we hate to lose any match and will fight till the last whistle.
Playing against Brazil – a big inspiration for Indian women’s team – says Thomas Dennerby
– Indian Football Team (@IndianFootball) November 24, 2021
Dennerby said his players are motivated to face the home team.
“There is a lot of enthusiasm in the team because Brazil is a very good football nation and we follow a lot of Brazilian players ourselves. We all admire him, and there is a lot to learn from him too,” said the Swede.
“Playing against him is a big inspiration for all of us.”
India is currently ranked 57th while Brazil is 50 places above them. Citing the high level of opponents, India captain Ashalata Devi said it would be a “huge opportunity” for her team to play against a top team in the world.
“Brazil are clearly a great team, they are up the rankings as well, and we consider ourselves very lucky to have such an opportunity to play against them. This is a great opportunity for us to learn from them and improve,” Ashalata said.
This will be the first time that a senior Indian team will face Brazil in football. Meanwhile, for Brazil, it will be a farewell match for their legendary midfielder Formiga Mota.
“We have prepared for about three months before this, so I am excited and confident to go into the match. I’m really looking forward to playing against both Marta and Formiga. But we will try our level best to stop them,” Ashalata said.