Indian soccer staff below Igor Stimac has recorded only one victory in 13 matches and set an undesirable report of going eleven video games with no win after they went down 1-0 to Asian champions Qatar on Thursday.
It’s a report that has put the Croatian coach below a substantial quantity of strain with India’s berth within the third spherical of the AFC Asian Cup qualifiers being removed from assured.
A mitigating issue for Stiamc is that his reign has been severely disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic and since his appointment, India have largely performed superior opponents. Despite the fact that the Fifa rating might not have all the time mirrored it, India have been underdogs in ten out of those 13 matches.
Group E desk because it stands
The Blue Tigers have drawn three out of those ten video games and have misplaced the remaining seven. Not an amazing return, however a good one bar the latest drubbing in opposition to UAE.
The video games which have executed injury to Stimac’s popularity have been those the place India have began as favourites. They’ve been few and much between however the Blue Tigers received simply a type of three video games with the win coming in opposition to Thailand within the King’s Cup in 2019. Crucially, within the two World Cup qualifiers in opposition to Bangladesh and Afghanistan, India may solely handle a draw and on each events wanted late targets to salvage the factors.
These outcomes have left India with a battle on its arms to earn a direct entry into the third spherical of the AFC Asian Cup qualifiers.
As India face Bangladesh on the back of a fairly gritty performance against Qatar, the onus will probably be on Stimac’s males to rework from a decided defensive outfit to a artistic attacking unit that may break down a resolute Bangladesh facet and likewise guard in opposition to their counter-attacks.
Bangladesh had offered a glimpse of their skills within the 1-1 attract Kolkata in 2019 and proved that they’re able to repeating that sort of show in one other 1-1 draw with Afghanistan on Thursday. Defending in numbers, Bangladesh had simply 27% of possession however nonetheless managed to fireside 4 photographs on the right track within the recreation that ultimately culminated in an 84th-minute equaliser. Regardless of going through 17 photographs throughout the match, Jamie Day’s staff conceded simply as soon as.
Captain Jamal Bhuyan, who had performed for Mohammedan Sporting within the I-League, feels it’s “going to be an intense match” when the 2 groups take the sphere.
“It will likely be intense – with loads of battles. It’s a good looking match to be part of. Final time in Kolkata, we had been upset to not get the three factors as India scored very late within the recreation. We now have that starvation in us, and we all know we will do some injury,” he stated.
“The boldness in our staff is nice in the intervening time. We had our probability of profitable in opposition to Afghanistan. We take that confidence with us into the India recreation,” Jamal added
Stimac stated Bangladesh are good at irritating their opponents with their defensive self-discipline and his staff would wish to strategy the sport with a distinct mentality to get a constructive consequence from the match.
“We’re going to attempt to present some composure completely different from that of Qatar or Oman match. It’s as much as us whether or not we will deal with the match higher with regard to ball possession, ball motion, velocity and accuracy of passing and the eventual execution,” the coach stated.
India haven’t loved the favourites tag too usually below Stimac however going ahead they might have to seek out methods to beat groups that defend in numbers and carry a risk on transitions as a way to qualify for the AFC Asian Cup. In that facet, the Bangladesh match will inform us loads about the place Indian soccer staff stands within the race for the Asian Cup qualification.
Midfielder Sohel Rana is out with a fractured hand for Jamie Day’s facet, having come off injured within the match in opposition to Afghanistan. Rana’s absence will probably be a blow for Bangladesh as he’s among the many few skilled figures within the squad that’s already with no few big-name gamers in goalkeeper Ashraful Rana, defenders Rayhan Hasan and Biswanath Ghosh and forwards Saad Uddin, Mohammed Jibon and Mohammed Ibrahim.
Bangladesh are a comparatively younger and inexperienced facet led by captain Jamal Bhuyan who made his fiftieth look within the final match, making him essentially the most skilled participant of their ranks. Defenders Rahmat Mia and Topu Barman, who’ve 53 matches amongst them, will probably be key to their hopes on the coronary heart of that Bangladesh backline. Barman is a risk on the different finish as nicely and scored the staff’s equaliser in opposition to Afghanistan.
Their attacking risk primarily comes from children Mahbabur Rahman Sufil who has 4 targets to his title for the nationwide staff and midfielder Biplu Ahmed who has scored thrice in his profession to date
Anirudh Thapa is anticipated to be again within the fold for India after he was isolating for the final 4 days. Rahul Bheke will probably be suspended and Rowllin Borges is out with an damage. Chinglensana Singh might return to bolster Stimac’s defensive choices.
After beginning with a again three within the final match, India is prone to change to a again 4 to supply larger attacking risk. Pritam Kotal, Sandesh Jhingan would retain their locations however it could be fascinating to see who the Croatian picks for the opposite two spots. Ashique Kuruniyan could also be wanted greater up the pitch however Stimac might maintain him in a full-back function if he picks an ultra-attacking facet.
Captain Sunil Chhetri who solely performed 45 minutes in opposition to Qatar ought to begin alongside Manvir Singh. Bipin Singh, who has began within the final two matches, might have a combat on his arms to maintain his place.
Face to face
India and Bangladesh have confronted one another 29 occasions with India profitable 15 of these matches. 12 have resulted in attracts whereas Bangladesh have two wins to their title. In World Cup qualifiers although, the 2 sides have met simply thrice with India profitable on two events and the opposite assembly (which was the final one between the 2 sides) ending in a draw.
Bangladesh’s wins in opposition to India have come within the South Asian Video games with their earlier one coming manner again in 1999. The final three conferences between the groups have all resulted in attracts. India’s final win over Bangladesh was on the 2009 SAFF Championships.
With PTI inputs