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Friendly matches provided opportunity to experiment against quality side: Women's football coach

ANI | Updated: Jan 24, 2019 22:40 IST

New Delhi (India), Jan 24 (ANI): India women's football team ended their campaign in Hong Kong with victory in two friendly matches against the hosts. Coach Maymol Rocky maintained that both the matches provided her the opportunity to experiment with tactics in a competitive environment.
"We experimented a lot with our tactics. Most importantly, we got the chance to do it against a quality opponent. We wanted to test some permutations and combinations, and our aim was to make the most out of the series in terms of experimenting," AIFF quoted Rockey, as saying.
Indian forward player Pyari Xaxa’s 68th-minute goal proved to be the winner for the Indian eves against Hong Kong in the second friendly match. Earlier, they had registered a 5-2 win over Hong Kong in their first friendly match.
Rocky said that they were aware of the fact that the second match would be difficult for them as one could not expect two back to back high goal scoring games against the same opponents.
"We knew this match would be different. You cannot expect two back to back high goal scoring games against the same opponents. They (Hong Kong) knew our strengths and kept a compact shape while defending deep," the coach explained.
"Our aim was to gather valuable match experience. In terms of development, a 1-0 win aids more as compared to a win by a higher margin," she added.
Rocky brought on Pyari Xaxa at the start of the second half and Xaxa’s goal proved to be the winner in the second match. “It was a very tight match. Scoring the winner gives me a lot of confidence as a player. Hong Kong were much more solid at the defence in the first half, not allowing us chances to score,” Pyari expressed.
Midfielder Sangita Basfore stated that “both the matches served their purpose.”
“While the first match boosted our confidence massively, the second helped us to learn concentration in a high-stress environment,” Sangita said.
Indian Women are preparing for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Qualifiers Round 2, and will now be playing matches against Indonesia next on January 27 and 30, respectively.
Both Hong Kong and Indonesia have also qualified for the Round 2 of the Olympic Qualifiers which are slated for April 1 to 9. (ANI)