Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Asian Cup qualifiers: India lookto begin campaign on winning note

As the ‘City of Joy’ Kolkata gears up to host the Indian team in their first match of the Asian Cup Qualifiers Group D matches, head coach Igor Stimac said that the “passion from the stands will add an extra strength to the players”.
India will be squaring off against Cambodia in the first match of the Asian Cup Qualifiers on Wednesday at the VYBK in Kolkata.
Speaking at the pre-match press conference, Stimac stated, “We are expecting the fans to come in numbers, to support the national team in the best way possible. Our intent is to press from the start, play at high pressure, and at a high intensity. We need to control the game, and I have to say we are ready for that. We have nothing to hide.”
Star defender Sandesh Jhingan felt, “Qualifying for the Asian Cup should be a norm for Indian football. The mentality needs to be that India will be at the Asian Cup.”
“I joined the team a bit late. But when I came in, I could gauge the improvement in the squad. The improvement among players individually was there to see. We are motivated. We know the potential of this batch, and we need to start delivering,” he maintained.
India begin their campaign against Cambodia at the VYBK on Wednesday (June 8, 2022) at 8.30pm, and the match will be telecast live on the Star Sports Network.
“For me as a coach, it is not important who scores. But it’s important that we score. We need to accept that our recent oppositions – Bahrain, Belarus, and Jordan – were technically better than us. But we had our chances, and failed to capitalise on them,” Igor quipped.
“We have young players who are feeling the pressure of being in the National team. We need to push these young players earlier in their career, and need to be patient.”


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