AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers: India Coach Igor Stimac Stresses Significance of Afghanistan Conflict after Win in Opener


The Indian males’s soccer workforce are excessive on confidence after a commanding efficiency of their opening conflict of the AFC Asian Cup qualifiers. They outclassed Cambodia due to a brace from Sunil Chettri on Thursday and sit on the prime of the factors desk in Group D.

India tackle Afghanistan who misplaced to Hong Kong 1-2 of their opener, subsequent on the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan on Saturday.

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Igor Stimac’s males want to get one other win below their belt as solely the winners of the six qualifying teams are assured of advancing to the finals and will probably be joined by the 5 runners-up with the most effective data within the qualifiers.

“The environment in our dressing room is sensible and it’s optimistic. It was optimistic earlier than additionally, however we didn’t have wins previous to the match. It was actually vital to start out with a win within the match,” Stimac stated on the pres-match press convention on Friday.

“However clearly, these three factors and a win in opposition to Cambodia imply nothing if we don’t get three factors in opposition to Afghanistan. In the mean time, as we take a look at the job, which we have to do right here that’s why are we right here. We have to win in opposition to Afghanistan easy as that,” he added.

India and Afghanistan have confronted off on 9 events, with the Blue Tigers profitable on 4 events and Afghans managing to win three as their final two conferences led to 1-1 draw. The primary one was throughout the FIFA World Cup and AFC Asian Cup joint qualifiers in Dushanbe. Their final assembly was in 2019 on the second leg of the identical competitors on the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha, Qatar.

Stimac is aware of actually how difficult Afghanistan might be on their day.

“The match in opposition to Afghanistan goes to be a lot totally different (from the one in opposition to Cambodia), since you may see, when you watch the sport, between Hong Kong and Afghanistan, there was a lot of high quality motion, a lot of high quality and fast passing, altering positions, many crosses into the field the place Afghanistan workforce is nice in aerials duels and they’re superb in assault,” Stimac stated.

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“And that’s what we have to deal with. We have to keep concentrated, disciplined, and being composed on the ball within the ball possession so simple as that,” he added.

Goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu is just not one to again down from a problem and sounded able to tackle Afghanistan’s ‘good high quality gamers’.

“From my expertise, Afghanistan has at all times been a tricky aspect to play in opposition to. Clearly they’ve good high quality gamers, skilled gamers who’ve performed in Europe and who’re taking part in in Europe and that’s considered one of their robust factors,” Gurpreet stated on Friday.

“However we love good competitors and it’s at all times good to play in opposition to a workforce who needs to struggle as a result of we wish to struggle as properly. Because the coach stated it solely is smart to win the following sport and transfer on as a result of that’s what we’re right here for and that’s what we need to be,” he added.

Afghanistan boss Anoush Dastgir although minced no phrases when speaking concerning the significance of the conflict as they want a win to remain in rivalry for an AFC Asian Cup berth

“Tomorrow’s sport for us will probably be do or die, every part or nothing,” Dastgir stated forward of the conflict.

“We’ve watched India in opposition to Cambodia and we’re making ready ourselves for the match. We all know India very properly, the Indian workforce is aware of us very properly so tomorrow will probably be a fantastic sport to play and in addition to observe,” he added.

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