Football

Palguna elated over India’s title

On top: The Indian women’s team after claiming the SAF women’s football championship in Thimpu.

On top: The Indian women’s team after claiming the SAF women’s football championship in Thimpu.  

Says it was the result of wonderful team effort

For former international G.P. Palguna, it was a trip down memory lane when the Indian women’s team — for which he was the manager in the just-concluded SAFF championship in Thimpu (Bhutan) — emerged champion beating Bangladesh in the final 5-3 via tie-breaker.

“I was a member of the Indian team which won the SAF championship (for men) in 1986 in Quetta beating Pakistan 1-0 in the final. I was also adjudged ‘best player’ of the tournament for my performance as a stopper-back,” said a visibly delighted Palguna in a chat with The Hindu on his return.

“It was a great feeling to manage this wonderfully gifted Indian girls’ team. Clearly, being there in Bhutan well before the championship began helped the girls a long way in getting acclimatised to the conditions which were very cold,” he said.

Palguna, also the Telangana Football Association Secretary, said India won because of the wonderful team effort. “Everyone chipped in whenever she got a chance and they all responded to the team’s cause to the delight of coach Alex Mario Ambrose and captain Shiky Devi Hemam.

“Credit should go to the All India Football Federation for ensuring a four-month preparatory camp which also included an exposure trip abroad,” Palguna said.

“The Indian girls had never beaten Bangladesh, which is a very good side, earlier. To draw against them in the league and winning the final via tie-breaker was truly an exceptional performance,” he added.

“It was a great experience for me personally as I had to coordinate with regard to every aspect of the Indian team — from training, travel to participation. I had to don many roles including liaising and the hosts were terrific in extending complete support,” said Palguna.

The results: Final: India 5 bt Bangladesh 3.

League: India 4 bt Nepal 1; India 10 bt Bhutan 1; India 1 drew with Bangladesh 1.

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Printable version | Jun 29, 2020 11:02:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/palguna-elated-over-indias-title/article29726478.ece

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