Indian National Team Head Coach Igor Stimac stated that the squad will be working on bringing back Liston Colaco, Udanta Singh, and Rahul Bheke back to action as the Blue Tigers land in Kolkata on May 31 morning. The trio missed the friendly match against Jordan at the Qatar SC on May 28, a match where the Blue Tigers went down 0-2.
“We were compact, and with good energy throughout the 90 minutes, putting Jordan under pressure in the second-half looking to score first,” Head Coach Igor Stimac stated post-match.
“The boys were good throughout most of the game, and I feel sorry that we couldn’t score first. That would have definitely helped,” the coach added. “There are some issues at the defending front which we faced, and need to be changed,” the Coach added.
The match against Jordan was the third international match for the Blue Tigers in the two months having played Bahrain and Belarus in the March FIFA International window.
“We proceed back to Kolkata from Doha as per our schedule, where we would be training for a week prior to playing our first match in the Qualifiers. We intend to put in our final touches upon the restart of our training sessions, and will be working to bring back Liston, Udanta, and Bheke back to the squad,” he informed.
India have been drawn alongside Hong Kong, Afghanistan, and Cambodia in Group D of the 2023 AFC Asian Cup – Final Round Qualifiers. The leg which will kick off on June 8 will be played at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in June with India taking on Cambodia on June 8. India’s next two matches are against Afghanistan on June 11, and Hong Kong on June 14.
The participating 24 teams have been divided into 6 groups with the six group winners and the best five 2nd best-placed teams earning a ticket to the 2023 AFC Asian Cup.