Siliguri : The Indian women's football team coach Sajid Dar has tipped Nepal ahead of his eves as the two teams lock horns in a SAFF Championship semi-final at the Kanchenjunga Stadium here on Monday.
"There's no denying that they are one step ahead than all the rest of the teams in the SAFF Championship. They have prepared thoroughly for the championship. They are a very strong side and have always been tough competitors," Dar told www.the-aiff.com
"I have heard that it has been almost two months that they assembled together to prepare for the tournament. When you stay and train together for almost two months, it reflects your strength," the Kashmiri coach added.
"They have also played some friendly matches against Malaysia and look very match fit. We rate them very highly."
The last time India played Nepal, India won the gold medal in a lopsided final at the South Asian Games final in February. Dar though doesn't want to harp on the past and looks ahead.
"That particular match is past tense, it is history. The sport will never guarantee you the same result every time. This is a new tournament and everything is different. But yeah, that particular match gives us the confidence and reminds us of our capabilities," he said.
"In comparison to that championship, I feel Nepal are much more prepared for this tournament. Having a look at their group league matches, one can understand they have a different plan this time. We have to stay on our toes."
India drew against Bangladesh, an unlikely outcome keeping in mind their dominance in the tournament. Dar though said it is not a setback.
"We played some wonderful football which was appreciated by all. Call it the beauty, or the cruelty of the game, you will always get some unexpected results," he said.
"But such results always make you more motivated to prove all wrong. It unites the team to believe more in yourself."