KATHMANDU, Sept 18: Nepali women´s football team coach Kishor KC and captain Jumuna Gurung stressed the need for team´s exposure after consecutive losses in the finals of the SAFF Women´s Championship.
The Nepali team returned home on Tuesday from Sri Lanka with a runner-up trophy of the Second SAFF Women´s Championship. India defeated Nepal 3-1 in the second edition of the championship. In 2010, Nepal had lost 1-0 to India in the final.
"We failed to bring home the title as we conceded some mistakes in the final," said coach KC. "On the other hand, our players need more exposure to perform better," he added.
Captain Gurung concluded that Nepal cannot win the title unless there is a good preparation. "We spend two to three weeks to prepare for tournaments like SAFF Championship. With such preparation, we can´t win title," said Gurung.
She termed India as the power house of South Asian Football. "Indian team was better than us. They were physically, technically and tactically better than us," said Gurung. "We faced India with a strong mindset, took the lead but could not hold them as they played better," she added.
"We were expecting to beat India as we had lost to India 1-0 in the first edition of the championship. We were content with our own preparations. When faced with India in the final, we came to know that India has improved a lot," said Gurung.
She opined that Nepal should concentrate on the matches against India while preparing for the any regional tournaments in South Asia. "India conducts training sessions for longer period. I think they have better exposure," said Gurung.
However, Gurung termed the Sri Lanka tour as a successful one. "Finishing as a runner-up in the consecutive SAFF Championship was not an easy task. We played better. The only thing we missed was the title," said Gurung, who scored eight goals during the championship to win the highest scorer award.
However, she refused to take any credit. "To be the highest scorer of the championship was not important thing. As a captain, I would have been happier if we had won the title," said Gurung.
She credited her success to the teammates. "Every member of the team supported me," said Gurung.
She also thanked departmental teams, including her own Armed Police Force, for providing giving them the environment to grow as a player. "The departmental teams have not only given us jobs but given us a proper environment. We could not have performed at this level only by playing a few domestic tournaments," said Gurung.