New Delhi: The Indian women's football team will play two international friendlies against higher-ranked Vietnam in Hanoi next month.
After impressive performances in Spain and Uzbekistan, the senior women's national team will play the two matches against Vietnam on November 3 and 6 at the Vietnam Youth Football Training Centre.
India head coach Maymol Rocky believes Vietnam will be a tough challenge, considering the fact that they are 34th in the FIFA rankings, as compared to India's 58th.
"Vietnam are a very tough team. They have recently beaten a World Cup team like Thailand and that says a lot," Rocky told the-aiff.com.
"Their attackers are very quick and technically very good but that does not mean that we will play a defending game. We need to test ourselves in the big matches and we will also play our brand of attacking football."
The Indian team will assemble in New Delhi for a training camp from October 25 to 30 before leaving for Vietnam on October 31.
"These matches would be a great way to prepare for AFC Women's Asian Cup 2022 qualifiers and we will leave no stone unturned once the camp starts. Our goal will definitely be to play well against Vietnam," the coach further said.
Earlier this year, the women's team had participated in the COTIF Cup in Spain, where they finished third, and played two friendlies in Uzbekistan -- recording a notable 1-1 draw against Uzbekistan in the second game.
The coach believes that playing such competitive games around the globe will help her team gain more experience as they are preparing for the AFC Women's Asian Cup Qualifiers, scheduled for later this year.
"The more we play on the international level, the better it will be for us. And playing against tougher opponents will be further helpful. Their standards are better than us, both physically and technically. I will be giving chances to the youngsters to see how we can test the team for the future," she said.
Twenty nine players called up for the camp are as followed:
Goalkeepers: Aditi Chauhan, Elangbam Panthoi Chanu, Maibam Linthoingambi Devi, Sowmiya N.
Defenders: Arati Anima Khadia, Jabamani Tudu, Loitongbam Ashalata Devi, Michel Castanha, Ngangbam Sweety Devi, Pratiksha Lakra, Sorokhaibam Ranjana Chanu, W Linthoingambi Devi.
Midfielders: Asem Roja Devi, Grace Lalrampari, Karthika A, Manisha, Nongmathem Ratanbala Devi, Ritu Rani, Sangita Basfore, Sanju Yadav, Soni Behera, Sumithra Kamaraj.
Forwards: Anju Tamang, Dangmei Grace, Heigrujam Daya Devi, Karishma P Shirvoikar, Ngangom Bala Devi, Renu, Sharda Kumari.
Head Coach: Maymol Rocky.