The day has finally arrived, when the Indian Football Women’s team will take on Iran in the opening group A fixture of AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2022. The encounter will take place at the DY Patil Stadium, Navi Mumbai at 7:30 pm IST.
The Indian Women’s football has come a long way from not entering the qualifiers in 2010 to hosting it this year, it has been a sporting circle for the nation.
A tough Opponent – Iran
Iran is making its debut in the tournament, with the Indian side looking to capitalize on Iran. Iran has been ranked 70th in the world as against India’s 55th.
However, the lower-ranked Iran has shown their ability to improve and adapt in the past and have pulled off some great upsets. Iran played their first international match in 2005, and since then they are constantly improving.
The Iranian team has not played an international match in the last six months. While on the other hand, the Indian side had played some international matches last year, including against former World Cup runners-up side Brazil. This will definitely give an edge to the Indian side, and the team will look to start with a win ahead of their other group matches against higher-ranked China PR and Chinese Taipei.
India is hosting the Women’s Asian Cup for the second time
The nation is hosting the competition for the second time after 1979, where India finished runner-up to Chinese Taipei. ‘Our Goal for All’ is the official tagline of the 2022 Women’s Asian Cup. The tournament will be played in three venues – Mumbai Football Arena in Mumbai, DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai, and the Balewadi Stadium in Pune.
India will aim for the world cup spot
The 20th edition of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup will offer five direct spots in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup that will be held in Australia and New Zealand. The two next best teams from the play-off matches will represent Asia at the Inter-Confederation play-off matches.
The 11 teams that have qualified for the Asian Cup are Japan, Australia, China, Chinese Taipei, Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar, South Korea, Iran, Philippines, Thailand, and host India.