FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022: India excited to be back in Kolkata for Bangladesh encounter

The Indian National Team came together in Guwahati for the preparatory camp ahead of India’s FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualifier against Bangladesh. The match is slated to be played on 15th of October at the VYBK Stadium in Kolkata on Tuesday. The squad will be preparing in Guwahati till October 12, and arrive in Kolkata the following day.

 

Indian National Team Head Coach Igor Stimac explained how excited the team is to be back on the ‘mecca of Indian Football’ after a prolonged period of 8 years.

“Everyone expects us to win and many people already feel that this India team is at the beginning of a new and very successful era. Everyone in the camp is excited about the National Team’s return to Kolkata. I have been told it’s been long 8 years we last played there. We intend to make it an unforgettable experience,” the coach assured.

“There was brilliant support for us in Guwahati (against Oman) and now we are expecting a full house in Kolkata also,” a buoyant Stimac said.

The Blue Tigers will also play a friendly against the ISL franchise Northeast United FC in Guwahati.

“It’ll be a good test for us before facing Bangladesh and a great chance for all the players to fight for a place in the team,” Stimac mentioned.

Meanwhile, talismanic goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, who donned the captain’s armband against Qatar on September 10, 2019, quipped he is getting restless to hit the pitch.

“It’s always about looking ahead and starting from scratch. We can’t wait to hit the pitch and get our first win. That’ll give our campaign some much-needed boost for the upcoming games in November and later,” Sandhu stated.

“I have played in Kolkata during my early days. But representing your country in front of the enthralling crowd of Kolkata will be a different experience altogether. We can’t wait to set the ball rolling,” Sandhu stressed.

It’ll also be a ‘dream-come-true’ situation for the local boy Pritam Kotal who is yet to represent the country at his home ground VYBK Stadium.

“It’ll be a dream-come-true moment for me to sing the National Anthem at the VYBK Stadium. It’ll be a challenge for us to face Bangladesh in Kolkata because they’ll also expect some support from the stands.”

“We’re upbeat before the camp in Guwahati and we need to be at the top of our game to get a positive result,” concluded Kotal, who might debut donning the national jersey for the first time in his hometown.

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