‘Couldn’t Handle The Pressure,’ Says Thomas Dennerby After India U-17 Women’s Loss to USA

After going down to the USA in their first match of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, coach Thomas Dennerby feels that the girls were a bit too nervous playing in the prestigious tournament and did some early mistakes in the game that cost India dearly.

The Indian women’s football team suffered a crushing 0-8 defeat against the United States in its first Group A match of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2022 at the Kalinga Stadium on Tuesday.

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Melina Rebimbas (9′, 31′) scored a brace while Charlotte Kohler (14′), Onyeka Gamero (24′), Gisele Thompson (38′), Ella Emri (52′), Taylor Suarez (58′ P) and Mia Bhuta (60′) got on the scoresheet against India.

“I believe the girls were a bit too nervous in front of the opponents. It was their first World Cup game — they couldn’t handle the pressure. It’s very hard to control emotions at this level and against such rivals,” he stated.

“We played the best team so far and it was really tough for us. We weren’t confident enough to pass the ball or build up and they did some early mistakes into the game which really impacted our performance,” Dennerby added.

Captain Astam Oraon admitted what went wrong against the USA and said, “Yes, we know we weren’t good enough in front of them, their speed, high pressing tactics =- everything was so strong.”

“We have learnt a lot from the game and will work on our areas where we are weaker to give a better performance in our next game,” she added.

When the coach was asked about how he will motivate the players after the loss, he mentioned, “The face of the coach is also the face of the player. So I will be smiling and supporting them the best way I can. I spoke to the girls in the locker room and said -‘Girls, the sun will come out anyway and we will have a new morning’. We have to accept the loss and come back even more stronger.”

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