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National Roundup

WC Qualifier: India take on Afghanistan in decider

In the ongoing FIFA World Cup Qualifiers Qatar 2022, India are currently placed at six points from seven games, having lost out narrowly to Asian champions Qatar 1-0 despite going down early to 10 men, and then defeating neighbours Bangladesh via two unanswered goals.

Chhetri highlighted how head coach Stimac has given chances to a number of players in the last two years and emphasised the importance of being consistent in performances over the qualification campaign.

“It is difficult to transition, play a certain way, face higher-ranked teams and also get results. We want to be in sync with the coach and what he wants from us, and deliver upon it. That’s all we can do. Results haven’t been ideal but we must look at the silver linings.”

“The coach is not afraid of giving chances to players. If he sees someone who is good, he will always give the boy a chance. No player can say that I didn’t get a chance, which is a good thing. Both the coach and players are looking to make a base of the first 14.”

“No coach likes to change his team every time and he is on the lookout for making his first 14. The players also have to help out and once it clicks, it will be more stable.”

“Even if we win the last match against Afghanistan, I don’t think we can call the campaign a success. I look back at the matches against Bangladesh in Kolkata, Oman in Guwahati and Afghanistan away (in Dushanbe), where we did not play well. We have been hot and cold, and that’s what bothers me. We need to continue playing at the same level,” he added.

In their last match of the qualifiers, the Blue Tigers will now go up against Afghanistan on June 15, 2021, at the Jassim bin Hamad Stadium in Doha, with the third-place spot in the group on the line. The match will kick-off at 7.30 PM IST and will be broadcast live on the Star Network, Disney + Hotstar and Jio TV.

Source: AIFF Media

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