The AFC Women’s Asian Cup commenced on Thursday in DY Patil Stadium, Navi Mumbai. The first match of the tournament was held between India and Iran at 7:30 PM IST. India currently ranks 57 according to FIFA Women’s World rankings while Iran ranks 70.

Sweden’s Thomas Dennerby has been coaching the Indian team for the last five months in their training camp in Jamshedpur. Last year, India played a series of football friendlies with international teams as part of their preparation for the Asian Cup. The results of these matches have been a mixed bag but with some silver lining. The Indian women, also known as Blue Tigresses by their adoring fans, beat UAE (4-1), Bahrain (5-0) and Chinese Taipei (1-0) but lost to Tunisia (1-0), Sweden’s Djurgården (1-0) and Hammarby IF (3-2).

The Indian Senior Women’s team also played in South America in November but lost all matches as they clashed with the behemoth teams of Brazil (0-6), Chile (0-3) and Venezuela (2-1).

The 20th edition of the Women’s Asian Cup will see participation from Australia, China, Chinese Taipei, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Myanmar, Philippines, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam with the last match being held on 6th February.

This is the first time since 1979 that India has hosted the tournament. Unfortunately for fans in India, the matches will be held privately and the stadiums will be closed to non-staff. However, the tournament will be airing live on Eurosport and JioTV.

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