High on confidence after notching up a double against Bahrain in two international friendlies in the latter’s own backyard this week, the Indian Women’s Senior national team reached Ramallah, located in the central West Bank, Palestine for the their 2014 AFC Women’s Asian Cup qualifiers starting Tuesday, May 21 amidst rousing reception.
The 23-member squad and officials reached the picturesque West Asian country on Sunday afternoon. A large posse of local journalists and photographers mobbed the team upon their arrival. There was also a decent crowd gathering to watch the SAFF Women’s Champions.
“Palestine is a beautiful place and we are overwhelmed by such warm reception. We hope to play good football here and qualify for the Finals. We had two decent games in Bahrain and the girls are motivated. It is a tough group, one that can be called the Group of Death. We have to put our best foot forward. It is serious business from here on,” national coach Anadi Barua told reporters here.
“This is the most important tournament for us. If we play to our potential we can definitely be that one team to progress to the next level,” India captain Tuli Goon opined.
Midfielder Amoolya Kamal added: “I feel so proud. We were greeted wonderfully here. Palestine seems a lovely place. At the same time I also feel responsible. The country is pinning their hopes on us. We have to do it for them. This is the most important tournament for us. The wins against Bahrain helped and we are looking forward to carry forward the momentum.”
India open their Group D qualification campaign against Myanmar on Tuesday followed by Chinese Taipei on Thursday (May 23) and the hosts Palestine on Saturday (May 25).
INDIA Women’s Team
Okram Roshini Devi, Tikina Samal, Usha Rani Das
Ashem Romi Devi, Loitongbam Ashalata Devi, Suprava Samal, Gurumayum Radharani Devi, Tuli Goon, Lako Phuti Bhutia, Ansha
Yumnam Kamal Devi, Yumlembam Premi Devi, Supriya Routray, Amoolya Kamal, Dangmei Grace, Oinam Bembem Devi, Sasmita Mallick, Paromita Sit
Irom Prameshwori Devi, Salam Rinaroy Devi, Jyoti Ann Burrett, Ngangom Bala Devi, Pinky Bompal Magar
Anadi Barua (Coach), Surmala Chanu (Assistant Coach), Chitra Gangadharan (Goalkeeping Coach), Dimple Jitesh Maniar (Physio), Indu Choudhary (Manager)
(Report & Photo courtesy AIFF Media)