Before leaving for Vietnam, Igor Štimacgot a big blow. Reliable defender Sandesh Jhinghan is not able to go with the team.
There is a problem with the Indian star’s visa. Sandesh’s passport has been renewed. As a result, it is reported that it will take some time to get a visa to go to Vietnam. Once he gets that, he can join the team. As soon as possible, efforts have been made to remove the problem and send him to a foreign country. He will now stay in Kolkata. Without him, the Indian team left for Vietnam on Tuesday.
Schedule of the matches
Sunil Chhetri and his team will play two friendly matches in the hung three competitions. India’s opponent is Singapore on September 24. There is a match against Vietnam on September 27. Vietnam is a much stronger team than India. However, Indian team coach Igor Štimac believes that victory will not be impossible if they fight with confidence. He said, “No doubt the Vietnam team has improved tremendously in the last few years. On top of that, they will have the added advantage of playing at home. But we will also try to win the match. Loaded with youth, this team has enough fighting ability. So instead of prejudging the result, the emphasis should be on playing positive football on the field.”
Comment from the coach
Baichung Bhutia’s team returned after winning the LG Cup from Vietnam 2 decades ago. Former India captain and Abhishek Yadav scored in the final. Can those happy memories return to Vietnam? Štimac felt, “There is another satisfaction in winning tough tests. I would say that the footballers have to prove that on the field.” Although the Indian team coach is accepting, he also has pressing concerns about the lack of pre-season preparation of the footballers. He said, “The pre-season preparation was not like that. As a result, I think it is possible to overcome the problem only if the footballers can be turned around in such a situation.”
However, the former Croatia defender in the 1998 World Cup is confident after the team’s performance in the AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers in Kolkata in June. Referring to that, Štimac said, “The Indian team defeated Cambodia, Hong Kong, and Afghanistan. And that too in a very short period. Therefore, we can expect that the Indian team will play with the same positive and fighting mentality in this competition.” He added, “The footballers have now understood well what kind of football to play against strong opponents. So, I believe, even though Vietnam is a strong opponent, they don’t need to over-commit.”
Ex-footballers are already gunning for him for the friendly match team. But Štimac is not worried about that. He said, “No one has been cut. My actual team is 40 people. Judging by the importance of the competition, 23 footballers have to be selected from among them. I have spoken to every footballer in the team.”