The Indian Senior Women's Team will take on Jordan in the first of two friendlies at the Petra Stadium in Amman, Jordan on Sunday.
The kick-off is scheduled at 6:30 pm IST. These matches are being held as part of India's preparations for the Women's Olympic Football Tournament 2024 Asian Qualifiers Round 1 in the Kyrgyz Republic next month, as per a press release from the All India Football Federation (AIFF).
Jordan have been a familiar opponent for India recently, with the Blue Tigresses beating them 1-0 in a friendly last year as well. Jordan is ranked 69th on the FIFA Rankings, eight places below India.
"Of course, it is important to play games like these to prepare for the Olympic qualifiers. Jordan are a strong team. We played them last year in April and won after a second-half goal by Manisha," said India head coach Thomas Dennerby.
"They have a physical team with some really good players - a tough top forward (Maysa Jbarah). We need to have a good game to handle Jordan," the Swede added to his assessment of the opponents.
India's 23-member squad has a few key players missing due to injuries and club commitments. While senior names like Aditi Chauhan and Bala Devi came off injured during the friendly matches against Nepal in Chennai last month, forwards Manisha Kalyan and Soumya Guguloth miss out as they are with their clubs (Apollon Limassol and Dinamo Zagreb respectively) in Europe, and can only join the Indian camp when the FIFA International Window begins on April 3.
"The number of injured players worries me a little. It would have been better if everybody was here. But we are working on whatever is best for the team with the players we have. We still have a good squad, no doubt about that," said Dennerby.
"Even without some key forwards, I hope we can have a good offensive game, create chances and score, but it is going to be a tough game against a good team," he concluded.
The Jordan FA have informed the AIFF that the two friendly matches (March 19 and 22) will have no live streaming.
The 23-member squad is as follows:
Goalkeepers: Sowmiya Narayanasamy, Shreya Hooda and Elangbam Panthoi Chanu.
Defenders: Ashalata Devi Loitongbam, Sweety Devi Ngangbam, Ritu Rani, Ranjana Chanu Sorokhaibam, Michel Castanha, Dalima Chhibber, Manisa Panna and Juli Kishan.
Midfielders: Shilky Devi Hemam, Anju Tamang, Indumathi Kathiresan, Sangita Basfore, Roja Devi Asem, Karthika Angamuthu and Kashmina.
Forwards: Grace Dangmei, Renu, Karishma Shirvoikar, Sandhiya Ranganathan and Apurna Narzary. (ANI)