2023 Asian Cup Qualifiers: Chhetri-led India ready to beat 171st Cambodians

Cristiano Ronaldo (117 goals in 188 matches), Lionel Messi (86 in 162 matches) are scoring and no wonder their level, Cambodia, Afghanistan (150th) and Hong Kong would like to spin the Indian talisman (147th). ).

While no one compares to the internationals they work for, it would not be a bad thing for a 37-year-old player to briefly beat 37-year-old Lionel Messi.

After withdrawing from China for the next Asian Cup in late 2023 or early 2024, Chhetri, who is completing 17 years in international football, could see the tournament as the “final milestone” of his illustrious career.

AFC Asian Cup 2023 Qualifying: Indian Team, Schedule, Results, Score Table, TV Channel and Live Streaming Information

“I want to qualify. If I don’t, it will be my country. So either I’ll drink a beer and watch a flying sprint, or I’ll drink a beer and run there. But we want to be there,” Chhetri said before the 126th international match.

It is a tournament that gives India the best chance to qualify for the Continental Trophy without any fuss, but if they miss a match against a bottom-ranked country, there is a lot to be done to justify Chhetri or coach Igor Stemak. There will be less space.

The Blue Tigers did not have the proper build-up for the continental showpiece under Stemac, which led to the loss of all three of their international friendly matches leading to the qualifiers.

Meanwhile, they suffered a humiliating 1-2 defeat against Indian Super League team ATK Mohan Bagan, a 2-1 win over I-League All Stars and a 1-1 draw against runners-up Santosh Trophy, Bengal.

A 3-0 win over Nepal in the SAFF Championship Final on 16 October 2021 – more than seven months after winning the match at the international level.

Recent results have come as a shock to the Stemac-trained team, which has had some impressive performances in the World Cup qualifiers against Asian heavyweights Qatar (goalless draw) and Oman (1-2 defeats after an 81st minute lead). That

Against the ‘unknown factor’ in Cambodia, Chhetri admitted that if he did not perform well against the mules, half the battle would be lost.

“We are playing them first. If we don’t do well against Cambodia, you have lost half your battle. “

“So far, we are only thinking of Cambodia, watching as many videos as possible. Once we’re done (with them), we think about Afghanistan. Undoubtedly, Afghanistan is also strong. “

Compared to the Indian build, the Angkor Warriors, who qualified for the Asian Cup only once in 1972, beat Timor-Leste 2-1 in a home friendly.

The Japanese strategy duo of Ryu Hirose and Keisuke Honda will surprise the Cambodian Indians who are at the top in their coaching cases.

From an Indian point of view, the biggest blow to Stemac in recent times has been the injury to striker Rahim Ali, who began to build up a strong offensive force with a livewire chhetri.

Ali suffered a muscle injury while starting to fill the void created by JJ Lalpekhula as Stemac had little success, forcing him to look for an alternative combination.

Liston Kolako, Manveer Singh and Udanta Singh, who are in new form with a hat-trick in the AFC Cup, may have some options but it is difficult for Ali to control the ball and pass accurately.

It remains to be seen how Chhetri will cope with this problem while trying to enter the Continental Championship for the fifth time.

For the defense, Sandesh Jhingan’s match fitness will be checked as she becomes the backbone of the team along with Subhash Bose, who has been criticized for scoring late goals in recent times.

After playing at home for almost three years, the biggest advantage for India will be the strong support at home. The reaction erupted overnight after Chhetri expressed frustration over Kolkata’s cold response to India’s matches as predicted by the AIFF.

Expecting a low “no more than 5,000 responses”, AIFF decided to “render” all tickets, meaning they would not have to pay a hefty hosting fee (Rs. 16 lakhs per match).

In a post on social media, Chhetri once again told the fans, “Let the three teams playing against us play against us and you, because it will make a big difference.” Great response.

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