Not a tournament for the Indian Women’s national team to treasure, but definitely one to look back on. To sort out the undone and set the pieces together. The Hero Gold Cup results have been factual enough for the blue tigresses to realist that the road ahead is real uphill. It demands both perception and perfection of the present layout.
It began blooming on our part, with a win against Iran, though on a slender goal cushion, yet fair enough to boost our ladies for a starter! Whereas, it took an equally odd turn when we digested two heavy goals that came at the very wee hour against Nepal. Sabitra Bhandari’s brace within six minutes of the match aided Nepal to put on weight and equally diminished ours. A similar early conceded goal in our third match against Myanmar, that came up even premature, by the second minute, shattered our roots. These early goals that came as a boon for our combatants, were clearly the bane for us!
On further sketching out, a prominent and unfulfilled gap between the creation and execution of our chances stand blatant, that stagnated our progress throughout the games. From evading targets by whisker, to missing back to back opportunities, each Nepal and Myanmar stood out a hard nut to be cracked. With easily lost possession and cheaply given away balls, we failed to rupture our rivals.
One can magnify other substantial quibbles in the journey, but what came as a rather unexpected move was missing out on some major names in the squad. The likes of Ngangnom Bala Devi, Yumnam Kamala Devi, Prameshwori Devi, Panthoi Chanu and on, being omitted from the list, was unforeseen. With most of them having stable career graphs and performance charts altogether( keeping note of their presence on behalf of their respective clubs for the last season too) it amazed us a bit, in not circling their names from the team on board under Maymol Rocky, as favourites!
This Cup, has been more of an eye opener. We know the “what’s and what’s not” in us. Assembly might be the best suited term at this moment. Assortment in the right direction under better guidance will only help us realise our strength. Fresher ideas and fresher maps with our potent team to follow in the long run!
Meanwhile, the team flies to Turkey for the Turkish Cup, that begins from 27th of this month, having drawn alongside into the group A ,with Romania, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. In a whiff, they set off to Myanmar for the coveted second round of Tokyo Olympics Qualifier, 2020. Luck having drawn it, but India face both Nepal and Myanmar again, besides Indonesia, hoping to avenge their recent defeat in Gold Cup and heal the scar, with the extravaganza kicking off from the very first week of April!
Again, boiling down to the basics, we know why we should not completely bias our views based on a single tournament. They’ve been undisputedly competent throughout and have geared up when low.
At times we slip, tumble and then we rise, clinging to what we absorb from that fall. And probably that’s the “ take home message” for our girls right now!