12th South Asian Games: Indian women play Bangladesh for spot in SAG football final
The Indian women's football team will clash with Bangladesh in a must-win match at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Shillong on Saturday looking to advance to the final of the South Asian Games (SAG).
India are third in the group standings courtesy five points after three matches while Bangladesh are second with six points and need only a draw to progress to the final. Nepal have already qualified for the final.
Despite dominating all three matches in terms of possession and shots on target, the hosts have been able to garner only one win, as they squandered the majority of the chances created. They need to convert the chances to beat Bangladesh.
"It is a do-or-die match for us. We should've secured our spot in the final by now, but here we are and with Bangladesh needing only a point, it will be the toughest match for us thus far in the group stages as we expect them to defend deep," India's head coach Sajid Dar said in a release on Friday.
We have to win: Indian coach Sajid Dar
"We have played quality football in our fixtures but if you don't take your chances in football results will not come your way. Against Bangladesh, we have to win.
“It does not matter if we play attractive football or not, the bottom-line is that we have to have a win," Dar said.
Bangladesh generally employ a defensive style of play and with the visitors needing just a point to progress, the onus will be on the Indian team to go all out.
"We have to take our chances against Bangladesh. We just have to score in order to win," India captain Bembem Devi said.
"We are here because of our inability to score up front. But we still have a shot at the finals and we will give it our cent percent to grab a win. Everybody needs to remain cool and focus on the task at hand," she added.
India will be without the services of forward Dangmei Grace, who was injured in the clash against Nepal.
"Grace's injury is a big loss for us. She was at the peak of her form and hence, it upsets our plans a bit," Dar said.