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Turkish Cup 2024: A tournament after over 3 months for women footballers; India to meet Estonia in opener

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After three months and 20 days, during which a FIFA window went unused, the senior India women’s team will return to international football when they open against Estonia in the four-nation Turkish Women’s Cup in Alanya, Turkey, on Wednesday.

Squad reaches Turkey for four-nation meet that also has Estonia, Kosovo and Hong Kong

India will play Hong Kong on February 24 and Kosovo three days later. The squad reached Istanbul on Monday.

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“We are getting a tour like this after a long gap and are very eager to play these three matches,” India coach Langam Chaoba Devi was quoted as saying by the-aiff.com.

Fitness won’t be a problem, said the former international ahead of her first assignment as senior team coach, as the players have been part of the Indian Women’s League (IWL) which has been paused for this tournament. “This is my first tournament as senior India head coach, but I’m not new to the girls. I was with them three to four years ago. I have a very good understanding with them.”

Captain Ashalata Devi will be part of this competition for the third time but the squad also has players from the 2022 under-17 World Cup (goalkeeper Monalisha Devi Moirangthem, defenders Ashtam Oraon and Shilky Devi Hemam and forward Kajol D’Souza). “They will see how European teams play and this will benefit them,” said the head coach.

The squad had a seven-day training camp in Bengaluru where the focus was on defending because “we are playing against physically strong countries,” said Chaoba Devi.

The players were a little tired after travelling from Bengaluru to Istanbul via New Delhi but will be ready for the opening game, said Ashalata Devi.

This is the first time India are playing since the second round of the Olympic qualifiers ended on November 1.

The squad: Goalkeepers: Shreya Hooda, Elangbam Panthoi Chanu, Monalisha Devi Moirangthem.

Defenders: Ashalata Devi Loitongbam, Ranjana Chanu Sorokhaibam, Dalima Chhibber, Juli Kishan, Astam Oraon, Shilky Devi Hemam.

Midfielders: Anju Tamang, Sangita Basfore, Karthika Angamuthu, Manisha, Kajol Dsouza, Indumathi Kathiresan.

Forwards: Grace Dangmei, Soumya Gugloth, Karishma Purushottam Shirvoikar, Sandhiya Ranganathan, Sanju, Pyari Xaxa, Kaviya Pakkirisamy, Jyoti.

Head coach: Langam Chaoba Devi.

India’s fixtures at the Turkish Women’s Cup 2024:

19:00 IST, February 21: India vs Estonia

19:00 IST, February 24: India vs Hong Kong

16:00 IST, February 27: Kosovo vs India

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