The Indian National Team refocusing before the big match against Qatar

In a hot and scorching afternoon at Doha, the Indian Football Team arrived in the airport to re-group and prepare for the upcoming task in hand. The Indian Football Team is set to lock horns against Qatar in their second outing of the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers and 2023 Asian Cup Joint Qualifiers round 2. The Blue Tigers will face Qatar at their backyard on Tuesday, 10th September 2019.

India succumbed to a 1-2 loss against Oman two days earlier. The men in Blue displayed an excellent show during the first half. They eventually lacked the fitness in the second half and conceded twice in the last 8 minutes.

“As soon as the Oman match ended, we shifted our focus immediately to the next match. Qatar is the strongest team in the group and playing them will not be easy. However, it’s a great opportunity to learn from,” said head coach Igor Stimac.

The Croatian added that the team has nothing to lose but everything to gain from the upcoming match as they are up against the best team in Asia. The coach further stated, “Obviously, we have to change 4-5 players. We’ll see how everyone is feeling. There is no reason to fear and we shall look to score goals and play good football.”

The speedy winger, Udanta, who was centimeters away from breaking the deadlock for India the other day, claimed “The previous match is now history and everyone is now focusing on the match against Qatar. We have to keep our chins up. We started our preparations the very next day and are now looking forward to starting training here. We are expecting a tough encounter as Qatar are the Asian champions, but we have to stick to our plans, stay compact and play as a team. If we can do that, we can certainly pull off a favorable result,”

Full-back Subhasish Bose told that the team is motivated and are getting prepared for their first away fixture. The 24-year-old said, “We played well against Oman but we could have done better towards the end. However, it is important that we learn from our mistakes and ensure that we come out fighting and stronger. The coach has been motivating us and said that he was proud of the way we played. Against Qatar, we have to be solid and make the most of our chances.”

The midfield general, Rowlin Borges replaced Amarjit due to his injury. Rowlin was highly praised after the match for his performance. Rowlin stated that the team looks for to the upcoming match and will give their best efforts. He quoted, “The first match was a tough one for sure but we started our recovery process in the gym the very next morning and everyone is getting in shape to now take on Qatar. It is a very important match for us and we will put our best foot forward.”

“I had been working really hard to return to full fitness in the last few months and I’m glad to wear the India jersey once again. We have to accept what happened against Oman and learn from it. Qatar is a strong team undoubtedly but we will push them as hard as we can and play to the best of our abilities,” said the youngster from Kerala, Ashique Kuruniyan, who wore the national colors after 8 long months since he last played in the AFC Asian Cup.

The match between India and Qatar will take place at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha, with kick-off slated for 10 PM IST. As per the latest update of the FIFA world ranking, India is in 103rd place while the hosts – the defending Asian champions – are ranked at 62.

CREDITS: AIFF Media

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