Indian Football Team Head Coach Igor Stimac reacted to the two international friendlies in an interaction with the AIFF.
Indian Football Team Head Coach Igor Stimac reacted to the two international friendlies in an interaction with the All India Football Federation. The Indian Football team drew 1-1 with Oman and lost 0-6 to UAE in the recently concluded Dubai tour.
India started slowly against Oman in their first fixture. The Oman side had a lot of the ball but could never penetrate the resilient Indian defensive line-up. The hosts did go in front after an own goal by Amrinder Sindh. However, India restored parity after Bipin Singh found Manvir Singh with a fantastic cross which was headed in by the ATK Mohun Bagan winger to make it 1-1.
The second fixture against UAE was a colossal disaster in itself. Stimac completely changed his defensive line-up and handed starts to the inexperienced lots of Adil Khan and Mashoor Shereef at the back. UAE came into the game with their finest starting line-up comprising the likes of Fabio de Lima, Abdallah Ramada, and Ali Mabkhout. UAE scored six goals in the game and never allowed India an ounce of space to exploit.
The two results come in very different circumstances. Apart from the fact that in both cases UAE won, we can’t compare those matches in any other segment. In 2019, both the teams (India and UAE) played in the group stages of the AFC Asian Cup – the Continental Championship to which both teams had headed after having prepared for a long time. Both the teams came in with their best and most experienced players which were at their disposal.said Igor Stimac.
Stimac compared India’s FIFA World Cup 2018 qualifying campaign under Stephen Constantine. India was grouped with Iran, Oman, Guam, and Turkmenistan. India managed just one win over Guam. Stimac’s Indian team is grouped with Qatar, Oman, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh.
In the previous 2018 WCQ India finished last in the group with seven defeats, one victory, with a total of three points and GD of -13 (minus 13). The Blue Tigers had suffered five losses in the first five games. Now, after five games played, with many new players in the team, we have three points and a very solid goal difference, and are on course to qualify for the AFC Asian Cup China 2023.he said.
Igor Stimac has always been a positive proponent of allowing People of Indian Origin (PIOs) for selection in the Indian football team. Indian laws will require a parliamentary ascent by the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha followed by a Presidential approval to change the law since Indian citizenship laws do not allow dual citizenship like other countries.
Afghanistan has allowed Overseas Citizen players to play for the National team. They now have 13 players coming from European leagues. They are competing in Germany, Poland, Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden.said Stimac.
Igor Stimac’s Indian football team has just managed to win a single game which was a King’s Cup victory over Thailand way back in 2019 after India returned from a prolific Asian Cup 2019 campaign under Stephen Constantine. It is important to note that Constantine’s Indian football team had won 4-1 over Thailand in Asia’s biggest footballing platform.
Stimac’s Indian football team have had some moments of pride as well including a goalless draw with Qatar in Qatar. However, it is important to understand that, unlike Constantine, Stimac has managed to get all the logistical and sporting support from the AIFF, including friendlies with stronger opponents like UAE.
India have games against Qatar, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh in June as part of the remainder of the World Cup 2022 qualifying fixtures, and it will be a litmus test for Stimac’s Indian team as they hunt for a competitive win after two years of winless run.