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FIFA U-17 World Cup for Women: Brazil India’s last chance to leave an unforgettable impression

India will face Brazil during their final FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2022 match, and it’s an opportunity for players to create a lasting impression.

India has been eliminated from their participation in the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2022, however, there’s one more game left before it’s over. Another chance to leave a lasting impression.

The Thomas Dennerby-coached team takes the field against Brazil for their last group A game on Monday. The defeats suffered by the USA as well as Morocco during their two opening group games have knocked India in the shade for the quarter-final race.

The debutants and the hosts India appeared to be overjoyed by the event during their opening match against the USA when they conceded eight goals. It is not unfair to their players who allowed their historical debut to get more of them, as the majority people Indian players had never played in international competition before they even started playing before the World Cup began and came into the tournament after a couple of friendly matches.

In spite of all the difficulties such as the inexistent women’s soccer structure in India and the lack of chances, the FIFA ban on India’s All India Football Federation of India (AIFF) and the demotion of an assistant coach just a few months prior to the World Cup due to allegations of sexual indiscretions and the players have put on an impressively strong front and even after the USA shocker rebounded, they have managed to give a great performance against Morocco.

Although they fell 3-0, they made significant improvements in their approach to the pressure on the playing fields. The team appeared stunned and then resorted to an enticing block, which saw them spend the most time in their own half, versus the USA. However, when they faced Morocco, India was more assertive and took the game to the opponent.

Numerous interceptions were performed by the Indian defense line during the first half, as Morocco was unable to score. India also was able to complete 18 passes during Morocco’s final third early in the game. Some errors and a counterattack later made it easier for Morocco to win, however, India will gain the confidence they gained from this game to prepare for the Brazil contest.

Brazil holds a unique spot in the world of football. An unlikely match against a team that is synonymous with football presents a great chance for the team from India to get the world’s attention to look up to and be aware of Indian football. As India senior captain Ashalata Devi said in an interview with Firstpost In the event of a successful performance against Brazil could open up new opportunities for players.

It was evident the trick for Manisha Kalyan who scored against Brazil in a friendly match last year.

In addition, it’s India’s final opportunity to add another glory to their historic World Cup campaign. Every goal is able to mark the player, his players, and the team further into the Indian memory.

“Brazil is a traditional football team. A good team, definitely…hopefully, we can score a goal tomorrow. This will be a very memorable moment for the team winning in the match against Brazil,” India coach Thomas Dennerby said on the morning of the game. “The ideal scenario is they do not strike against us. However, it’s going to be an extremely difficult game. Football is just that, football. It doesn’t have to be the most successful team to win. Anything could happen and, we hope that nothing will occur tomorrow.”

On the other hand, Brazil is very much on the verge of making the quarterfinals and will go to the match with determination to prevail and make it to the final eight. Brazil won their opening game 1-0 against Morocco and then played in a draw with the USA.

India will, however, be looking to keep their play style of aggressiveness. There’s no reason for them to change either. There’s nothing to lose, but plenty that could be gained. Be fearless was a mantra that the coach relayed to his team prior to the tournament. Be fearless and play the principal on Monday, too.

“We need to be as assertive as we were in Morocco. We must be quick to press as well as defend effectively and close down any areas. We know that they have a great forward (Ingrid Aparecida de Moraes or “Jhonson”) who can speed up to 33 mph. That’s top-of-the-line. They have excellent wingers and midfielders that can feed forward players. Thus, defending against the fast attack and long balls isn’t only the task of defenders, but also of midfielders as well. We could be able to take some balls and make some quick attacks. We stand a better chance of winning against Brazil with set pieces. They aren’t as organized as the USA,” Dennerby shared.

Coach Dennerby also shared an interesting story to tell his players as they were training with them on the Polic Batalliton field in Bhubaneshwar prior to the Brazil match. He claimed that they compared results from the two previous games as well. He added that “no one is running faster, no one is running more” than Indian players.

It’s the opportunity for Astam Oraon and Co to take on the challenge of leaving an indelible mark.

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