The Indian women’s football team begin their AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2022 journey against tournament debutant Iran in a Group A clash on Thursday, January 20 at the DY Patil Sports Stadium in Navi Mumbai.
Making their 10th appearance in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup, India finished inside the top three in three consecutive editions in 1979, 1981 and 1983. The team, in fact, finished as the runners-up in 1979 and 1983, losing the title to record eight-time champions China and Thailand respectively.
After missing out on four consecutive editions between 1986 to 1993, India finally qualified for the finals in 1995. However, the Blue Tigresses failed to qualify beyond the group stage in any of the editions from 1995 to 2003. They are making their first appearance in the competition for the first time since 2003. Iran, on the other hand, are playing the AFC Women’s Asian Cup for the first time.
The Indian team, led by Loitongbam Ashalata Devi, has been quite busy since October 2021. After playing friendly games against the likes of Uzbekistan, Belarus, UAE, Tunisia and Bahrain, the team travelled to Brazil to take on Brazil, Chile and Venezuela in the 2021 International Tournament of Manaus.
Although the results won’t be fondly remembered, the team received much-needed international exposure and the experience of playing at the top level in South America. The Blue Tigresses played a total of 14 games in 2021, scoring 17 goals. Unfortunately for India, their star player and Glasgow Rangers forward Bala Devi won’t be available for the tournament as she continues her recuperation from an ACL injury.
India vs Iran AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2022 squads
India squad for AFC Women’s Asian Cup
Goalkeepers: Aditi Chauhan, Sowmiya Narayansamy, Maibam Linthoingambi Devi,
Defenders: Nganbam Sweety Devi, Manisha Panna, Loitongbam Ashalata Devi, Hemam Shilky Devi, Dalima Chhibber, Ritu Rani,
Midfielders: Yumnam Kamala Devi, Nongmaithem Ratanbala Devi, Anju Tamang, Indumathi Kathiresan, Naorem Priyangka Devi, Karthika Angamuthu
Forwards: Pyari Xaxa, Grace Dangmei, Sandhiya Ranganathan, Renu, Manisha Kalyan, Mariyammal Balamurugan, Sumati Kumar
Iran squad for AFC Women’s Asian Cup
Goalkeepers: Zohreh Koudaei, Maryam Yektaei, Arefeh Seyedkazemi
Defenders: Fatemeh Amineh, Hadieh Kor, Melika Motevalli, Ghazaleh Banitalebi, Behnaz Taherkhani, Zohreh Jalali, Fatemeh Adeli
Midfielders: Zahra Sarbali, Sara Zohrabi, Samaneh Chahkandi, Yasaman Farmani, Elham Farahmand, Zahra Masoumi, Melika Mohammadi, Marzieh Nikkhah, Sana Sadeghi
Forwards: Afsaneh Chatrenoor, Sara Ghomi, Negin Zandi, Hajar Dabbaghi
Where to watch India vs Iran AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2022 live in India?
The India vs Iran AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2022 group stage match will be broadcast on Discovery Network's Eurosport TV channel in India on January 20 from 7:30 PM IST.
The live streaming of India vs Iran AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2022 will be available on the JioTV app.
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Featured photo: AIFF