MAHARASHTRA coach Sanaya Anklesaria is aware that her team`s chances to qualify for the semi-finals of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) 27th Senior Women`s National Football Championship are grim, but she wants her side to give it all in the remaining three games against West Bengal (on Tuesday), Himachal Pradesh (on Thursday) and Railways (on Saturday).
On Sunday, Maharashtra suffered their second consecutive defeat to Haryana 0-4. They went down 1-3 to Manipur last Friday.
Haryana`s Renu Rani scored a brace, while Ritu Rani and Santosh netted a goal each. Talking about Sunday`s defeat to Haryana, Anklesaria told www.mid-day.com: “We lost two games back-to-back [v Manipur and Haryana]. Even if we win the rest of our three games, we still cannot qualify for the semi-finals. We made some silly mistakes against Haryana which cost us dear. Since Manipur and Haryana have won both their matches, even if they win just one more of the three games in hand, they are favorites to go through. This experience matters a lot.”
Though the results didn’t pan out on expected lines, the experience gained will come handy in the long run, felt Anklesaria.
“Though we lost to Manipur 1-3, we played well. Earlier, we would end up letting them score five, seven or nine goals. Our squad are the youngest of all teams with 90 per cent of them under the age of 20. The best part is that they are getting to play against senior players who are a part of the Indian team. I feel it`s an eye opener. I want them to play the remainder of the three games in the right spirit and give it all. They have age on their side and this can teach them how to work towards their goals,” said Anklesaria.