Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], June 10 (ANI): Team India head coach Igor Stimac has warned that Afghanistan will be coming out hard at the Blue Tigers in their Asian Cup qualifiers match as it is a do or die game for them and added that India ‘will win this game’.
India will play Afghanistan in their second match at the VYBK on Saturday. Cambodia take on Hong Kong in the other match of the day at the same venue. As the situation stands, India and Hong Kong are on three points each from one match, while the others are yet to open their account.
“We need to stay disciplined, concentrated and be composed on the ball. Afghanistan players are physically very strong. Positioning will be the key, and good reading of the game will be crucial. We need to keep tight lines, and win more duels. We need to be clever,” said Igor Stimac in a pre-match press conference, as per an official AIFF release.
“The last time we played Afghanistan in Doha we were better than them in each segment. Now we are in better shape than what we were last time around. I am very confident about the situation we are in, and my expectations are that we will win this game,” Stimac added.
His rival counterpart Anoush Dastgir, head coach of the Afghanistan National Team, mentioned, “It’s a do or die for us tomorrow against India.”
“We need to learn from our mistakes. We have watched India and are preparing for them. Both teams know each other well. We expect a great game. Indian Football has been doing well in the last few years. The league structure here in India is very good,” said Anoush Dastgir.
The Indian National Team goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu described Afghanistan as “a tough side to play against.”
“They have players who play in Europe. It’s always nice to play against a team that fights. We need to win, and that’s why we are here,” said Gurpreet Singh.
“I enjoy playing here. It’s special for me at the VYBK. The first time I played here was in the Kolkata derby. I have been lucky to experience a full house – so I am aware of how it feels, and what it means to us as players,” he added. (ANI)
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