The Indian Football Team will begin their AFC Asian Cup 2023 qualification stage as they take on Cambodia in their first game of qualification Group D.
Wednesday, June 8, 2022 – 8:30pm Indian Standard Time
Star Sports Network will telecast the matches live on Star Sports 3 in India.
Disney+ Hotstar & Jio TV will live stream the game.
India – W W W L
Cambodia – L L L W
India: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu; Pritam Kotal, Sandesh Jhingan, Anwar Ali, Subhasish Bose; Suresh Singh, Anirudh Thapa, Sahal Abdul Samad; Manvir Singh, Liston Colaco; Sunil Chhetri.
Cambodia: Keo Soksela; Boris Kok, Tes Sambath, Soeuy Visal (C), Ken Chansopheak; Thierry Bin, Orn Chanpolin, Sos Suhana; Mat Noron, Keo Sokpheng; Sieng Chanthea.
Rahul Bheke and Lalengmawia will miss the qualifying games. Ritwik Das has contracted Chicken pox with Deepak Tangri replacing him in the squad.
Liston Colaco took a knock but should be fit enough to feature in the game. Chinglensana Singh is also fit after recovering from a knock.
Sahal is expected to marshall India’s midfield alongside Anirudh Thapa with Sunil Chhetri and Manvir Singh leading the line
Speaking at the official pre-match press conference, India coach Igor Stimac told AIFF’s official website, “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.
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. 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.”
“I’m not worried as we are now ready to battle it out for 90 minutes. There is more strength in our legs and more oxygen in our brains. We have been training to our strengths, and it has helped us a lot.
Once we started together as a team, we were clear what we wanted to do in the future. The first step is for India to participate in the final of the Asian Cup. You always need to go through these stages. We are the favourites in this group and are in a good position. We need to get into the finals, and do better than the last time we were in the tournament.”
“I respect every opponent. There is no reason to underestimate Cambodia. They have come here with the same desire. We need to be hungry for this game, and we are. But today’s football doesn’t bring in any easy games.
“With so much competition for places in the squad, Sandesh stressed that “no player has a permanent place in the squad. The competition for each spot is very high, and so is the quality. We have at least 2 players fighting for each spot. I think both Pritam Kotal and Rahul Bheke are top players, and Anwar Ali has a big personality too. I have massive respect for him.”, Stimac concluded.
Sandesh Jhingan too was present at the press conference and he said, “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.”
We predict a 3-1 win for India.