India scored a late equaliser in the first leg of the qualification tie at the Salt Lake stadium in Kolkata in October 2019
Indian national coach Igor Stimac has likened India’s tie against Bangladesh to the Blue Tigers’ game against Qatar amid the ongoing 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup joint qualifiers on Monday.
Having held Qatar to a historic draw in 2019, a 10 man India went down to the Asian Champions on Thursday after Bangladesh rode on a late goal to hold Afghanistan 1-1 on the same day at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha, Qatar.
What Igor Stimac said?
“In the football world, I would say they (Bangladesh) are a very annoying team which disturbs the opposition with so much defensive work, quality work – with blocks – quite similar to what we did against Qatar,” said Stimac.
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Explaining further, the Croat added, “In football, at times you need to do everything possible to irritate the rival team, to annoy them, to cut their passing. Bangladesh are fighting for every point in the group, and whatever they do, they do it as a team.
“The matches against Qatar and Bangladesh are so different – from one extreme to another. In the first game, we played the best team in Asia who were so superior and have been training every day in comparison to us having just eight days of training before the start of the competition. In fact, without the help of the Qatar FA and Qatari government, we wouldn’t have even begun our training.”
What are India playing for in the qualifiers?
Currently fourth in Group E with three points after six games, India does not qualify for the next round of the World Cup qualifiers but has a realistic chance of making it to the third round of the Asian Cup 2023 qualifiers.
“The match against Bangladesh is a big game for our fans and the team. We are going to approach the game to win it without meaning any disrespect to our opponents. Since the beginning, our aim has stayed the same – to qualify for the AFC Asian Cup China 2023,” the India coach maintained.
How should India approach the Bangladesh tie?
Stimac has called for his side to be composed while assuming the mantle of dictating terms according to the style of play he wants the Blue Tigers to adopt on Monday.
“We are going to try to show some composure (against Bangladesh) – different from that of the Qatar match. It’s up to us whether we can handle the match better in regards to ball possession, ball movement, speed and accuracy of passing and the eventual execution,” the 53-year-old signed out.
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