Iran put in a fighting performance to hold India to a goalless draw in their first match.
India vs Iran Live Score, Asian Cup 2022 Football Match Updates: Iran put in a fighting performance to hold India to a goalless draw in their first match.
Match preview: A FIFA World Cup play-offs spot within their grasp, hosts India would seek a winning start against an under-prepared and lower-ranked Iran in their women’s AFC Asian Cup campaign opener on Thursday.
Hosting the continental showpiece for the second time after 1979, India would look to script history by qualifying for the quarter-finals of the 12-team tournament, which will see some of Asia’s and the world’s best players in action.
India had finished runners-up twice — in 1979 and 1983 — and third in 1981.
A win against Iran at the DY Patil Stadium will assure India of at least a third-place finish in Group A. Besides the two top teams, two third-placed sides across the three groups will also qualify for the quarter-finals.
Iran are the lowest-ranked team in the group which also has China and Chinese Taipei. They are ranked at 70th in the world as against India’s 55th.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the Indian team had the luxury of a good number of exposure tours and international matches last year, including against former World Cup runners-up side Brazil.
These international match experience is expected to keep Thomas Dennerby’s team in good stead even though the hosts are playing without star striker Bala Devi who is recovering from surgery.
On the other hand, debutants Iran, who began their journey in international football only in 2005, have not played any international match in the last six months.
All the semi-finalists from the tournament will directly qualify for the 2023 FIFA World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. Two more teams from the remaining four quarter-finalists will also get direct berths to the World Cup if Australia make it to the semi-finals of this tournament, which is highly probable.
That means even the teams that lose in the quarter-finals can directly qualify for the World Cup if they win the play-off matches of the AFC Asian Cup on 2 and 4 February. The two losing quarter-finalists will feature in the Intercontinental play-offs.
Iran will be playing in their maiden AFC Asian Cup after defeating Jordan in a penalty shoot-out in the qualifying round.
“We have analyzed the Indian team, and are aware that they are strong and fast. Despite our lack of experience, we are motivated. We have reached this level and we we are ready,” Iran head coach Maryam Irandoost said.
India have played just three times against Iran in the past and have won twice — 3-1 in 2007 and 1-0 in 2019. The other match was won by Iran 4-1 in the second leg of AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers in 2007.
Eight-time champions China face Chinese Taipei in the tournament opener at Mumbai Football Arena earlier in the day.
India Squad (From): Aditi Chauhan, Maibam Linthoingambi Devi, Sowmiya Narayanasamy, Dalima Chhibber, Sweety Devi Ngangbam, Ritu Rani, Loitongbam Ashalata Devi, Manisa Panna, Hemam Shilky Devi, Sanju Yadav, Yumnam Kamala Devi, Anju Tamang, Karthika Angamuthu, Nongmeithem Ratanbala Devi, Naorem Priyangka Devi, Indumathi Kathiresan, Manisha Kalyan, Grace Dangmei, Pyari Xaxa, Renu, Sumati Kumari, Sandhiya Ranganathan, Mariyammal Balamurugan.
What time is the match?
India will take on Iran in their first match of the tournament at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai. The match will start at 7.30 PM IST.
Where can I watch the match?
The match will be broadcast on Eurosport and can also be live streamed on JioTV. You can follow firstpost.com for live blog of the match.
With PTI inputs
We are now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@TechiUpdate) and stay updated with the latest Technology headlines.
For all the latest Sports News Click Here