A must-win tie for the Blue Tigers
Playing their first competitive game in over a year, Igor Stimac’s Blue Tigers put in a valiant effort against hosts nation Qatar in their group stage game in the second round of the World Cup qualifiers on Thursday. But the 0-1 loss on the night saw India remain in 4th place in Group E, with two games to play.
This leaves India with two must-win games, starting with Bangladesh tonight. They need a win to keep their hopes of a group stage berth in the AFC Asian Cup 2023 Qualifiers alive but Bangladesh have already shown that they are not an easy side to beat.
India played hosts to Bangladesh in a fanatic clash in October 2019 at the Salt Lake Stadium. In front of a sellout crowd, Stimac’s men were not at their best and went a goal down to Saad Uddin’s header just before half-time.
Even as they pushed hard, India needed a late header from defender Adil Khan to secure a point. Though the scenes were memorable, India will need a more assured display and a positive result to stand a chance of moving into 3rd place in the Group.
India are one of two sides in Group E, yet to register a win in the qualifiers. Their third loss came against Qatar in a grit full performance on Thursday. Down to 10-men in the 17th minute, India conceded ten minutes from the break. Gurpreet Singh Sandhu’s heroics in goal alongside a sturdy defence, helped India keep Qatar at bay.
However, there were positives to take from the game and India will believe that they can put in a better performance against Bangladesh on Monday.
India are two points off Afghanistan in 3rd, who play Oman in this next round. If they can take all three points against Bangladesh on Monday, the third place in the group is up for grabs, which will put pressure on Anoush Dastgir’s side in their penultimate game.
— Indian Super League (@IndSuperLeague) June 4, 2021
HFC in Doha
Igor Stimac named our defensive duo Adil Khan and Akash Mishra on the bench against Qatar. Mishra came on late in the game and looked confident at the back.
But the biggest miss for the team was the absence of Chinglensana Singh, who was not a part of the squad for that game. However, he could be back for this clash against Bangladesh and could play a role in this crunch clash.
Where to Watch
Tonight’s Qualifier will be telecasted live on the STAR network, with live streaming on Disney+ Hotstar.