Indian footballer Soumya ‘heartbroken’ to miss Asia Cup

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Hyderabad: Indian footballer from Nizamabad Guguloth Soumya was dreaming of playing for the country in the AFC Women’s Asia Cup, scheduled to begin in India from January 30. She has been training with the Indian camp for the tournament. However, four days before the Indian team was to be announced, the State footballer suffered an injury to her thumb on the right hand during a practice game, which ruled her out of the mega tournament.

“When I learnt the news that I would be sidelined for four to five weeks with the injury, I was heartbroken. I have been training hard for this tournament and dreamt of representing India in the Asia Cup. But unfortunately, I got injured,” said the 20-year-old youngster.

The youngster, who is the lone female footballer from both the Telugu States to wear Indian colours, was also part of the Indian team that toured Brazil for three friendlies against Brazil, Chile and Venezuela as part of their preparatory tour for Asia Cup. She played against Chile and Venezuela.

Speaking about rubbing shoulders with top international footballers from the South American countries, Soumya said, “It was a great learning experience. Playing against the top footballers gave us a fair idea about our game. Our game is also on a par with them. But they have an advantage physically. All of them are strong and very tall. We need to build our physique and improve fitness levels.”

She revealed that spending time on the pitch with star footballers from Brazil international team was a memorable moment. “The Brazilian players came to us and we took photographs with them. Their team has some of the legends of the game. It was a memorable moment,” she added.

With India hosting the prestigious event, Soumya feels that the hosts can give opponents a run for their money. “I think we can do well in this tournament. Since it is happening in India and with a bit of support, we can be a tough team to beat. If we play well, we can enter knockouts as well,” she opined.

The Indian team forward hopes to recover soon and get into Indian camp in four to five weeks.

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