In case you missed our live on the game against Chile, here’s a thread on how the Blue Tigresses set up tactically!
We lined up in a 5-2-3. Interestingly, Sanju who is naturally a midfielder, was slotted in at LWB. The frontline too, saw two natural strikers in Manisha and Pyari play out wide. Experienced campaigners Ashalata Devi and Manisha Panna played as side-backs to provide cover.
Here, as we can see, Anju (ST) stays close to the Chile CDM, following her in close proximity to prevent passes. Manisha (LW) closes down the opposite RB. Midfielders Indumathi and Martina stuck close to each other in midfield, pressing anyone who received the ball around them.
Every time, the ball went out wide, the winger near the ball would press the full-back, and the winger on the opposite side would tuck into midfield. In this case, since the ball is on the left, Pyari chases the full-back and Manisha (black arrow) drops into midfield
Because of this movement, there was an extra woman in midfield. This allowed the duo of Indumathi and Martina (black arrows) to stifle the Chileans on the wing, without worrying about switches. In this way, a 5-2-3 turned into a 5-3-2 depending on the ball position.
However, the problem lied in between the lines. Through rotations such as the #9 dropping deep, and free-roaming midfields, Chile constantly outnumbered the Indian midfielders. Here we can see the #9 go deep, and #8 go up.
This was something we could see in their first goal as well.
Slide 1 – midfielders being dragged to one side, and leaving space on the other.
Slide 2 – #9 drops as an option, and occupies the midfielders + gets some space.
The ball was spread out wide, and the striker made a blindside run and ended up scoring from this move.
Another way they built up was by stretching out their full-backs, thus eliminating the forward press.
Slide 1: wingers (specifically RW) is dragged out by Chile LB. Chile mids are between the lines
Slide 2: Chile CB releases a good ball into space, eliminating 5 players at once
Eventually, India shifted from a 5-2-3 to a 5-4-1 as the frontline was being bypassed too easily. Another reason could be to provide extra cover for the wing-backs. Around the 30 minute mark, Anju switched to right wing and Pyari went up top as the striker.
The second half saw Soumya come in for Martina, Grace in for Pyari and Ritu in for Ashalata.
The formation remained the same, however Anju shifted in as a midfielder in place of Martina, and Manisha Kalyan played as a ST. This allowed India to have more creativity in midfield.
Not much changed through the rest of the match. During dead-ball situations, India seemed to use a zonal defending pattern. One person covering the post, one for short corners, 4 people in the six yard box, 3 people around it, and one at the penalty spot.
Although the current squad doesn’t have natural wing-backs for this 5-back system, Thomas Dennerby has managed to bring about a structure and organization to this side.
We will see more of the its working as the Blue Tigresses will go against Venezuela on 2nd December, 2.30 AM!
In case this piqued your interest, check out our live with @abreshmina from today!