Indian footballer Manisha Kalyan shared her views on the historical goal, sharing the pitch with her idol Formiga, and what the Indian team needs to do to improve its consistency at the world level. (Credit: AIFF)
Shared News: December 2, 2021 7:45:42 am
A few days back, Manisha Kalyan registered her name in the record books by scoring India’s first-ever goal against Brazil at the senior level.
Manisha, who hails from Mugowal village in Punjab’s Hoshiarpur district slotted past Brazil goalkeeper Leticia to score the equalizer for India in the eighth minute of the match. It remained 1-1 for a good half an hour. However, the Indian team eventually lost 1-6 in its first match of the four-nation international tournament in Manaus.
The Indian women’s football team went down 0-3 to Chile in the second match of their Brazilian tour on Saturday.
The Indian Express caught up with the talented winger. The 20-year-old shared her views on the historical goal, sharing the pitch with her idol Formiga, and what the Indian team needs to do to improve its consistency at the world level.
How did you feel when the ball went into the goal?
It felt good after scoring a goal against Brazil. Most importantly, it was an equaliser, so it was more pleasing. When I started running with the ball, their (Brazil) defence was out of place so I decided to shoot and it went in. It was a joyous moment for me. I want to dedicate the goal to my teammates. We have worked hard on and off the field. It was teamwork and that’s why I was able to score the goal because of my team.
Formiga is a huge role model. How was it sharing the pitch with her and what conversations you had with the Brazilian legend?
It was a great experience sharing the pitch with my idol. It was Formiga’s farewell game. After the game, I took a selfie with her and told her that she is an inspiration to me. Formiga was surprised that we followed her game from India, and she also praised our efforts.
How has it been training under a coach like Thomas Dennerby and What all have you learned from him?
Coach Thomas has taught us a lot. The technical side and also some basics have improved a lot under him. As a team, we have improved under him and he gives us confidence, which means a lot to me.
How is the environment at the Indian camp after the match against Brazil and Chile and how important is this tournament for the Indian team?
We trained for four months in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand and that experience over there was great because we got to prepare our strengths both mentally and physically. This tour will be beneficial for us when we’ll be playing in the Asian Cup (next year).
You scored in the AFC club championship and now in an international match. How are you planning to continue this goal-scoring momentum?
It’s not just about me scoring the goals. It’s a team effort. If I can put that last finishing touch and score, that’s great. If I can even set up an assist for my teammates, or make a goal-line clearance, I’ll be equally happy. It’s all for the team.