Indian Football

India vs Kyrgyz Republic Preview: Blue Tigers face higher-ranked White Falcons


April 2 2023

A solitary point against their upcoming opponents is enough for India to lift the Tri-Nation friendly tournament.

India will take on the Kyrgyz Republic at the Khuman Lampak Stadium in Imphal for their next Tri-Nation International Football Tournament fixture on 28 March 2023 (Tuesday). Igor Stimac’s men won their previous game against Myanmar on Wednesday (22 March) thanks to a solitary goal from Anirudh Thapa. A draw will be enough for the Indian men’s team but for their opponents, it is a must-win contest if they are to lift the trophy.

The Kyrgyz Republic saw their opening tie of the tournament end as a 1-1 draw against Myanmar. Heading into the next game against the hosts, the side will aim to put up a better display and secure a win. One can expect a whole host of changes from the Indian team head coach Igor Stimac, who did not select players in the starting lineup that took part in the 2022-23 Indian Super League final, apart from skipper Sunil Chhetri.

Sahal Join Indian Football Team Training

Here is what to expect from the upcoming game between India and the Kyrgyz Republic:


The Indian team will face a higher-ranked team than Myanmar (159) in their upcoming tie. As it stands, the Kyrgyz Republic is in 94th place in the latest FIFA Men’s Rankings. Having said that, the 1-1 draw between the teams will give the Indians a boost. The expectations will be high in front of a packed Khuman Lampak Stadium for the Blue Tigers to secure a second successive win.

As for the Kyrgyz Republic, the aim will be to finish the tournament on a high. Drawing the match against Myanmar was a disappointing outcome for the side. Aleksandr Krestinin will push the White Falcons from the sidelines and set his team in a way that will nullify the Indian attacking threats. There is enough quality on the side to inflict a defeat on India.

Team News

Manvir Singh is injured, Igor Stimac has confirmed. Sahal Abdul Samad has joined the India camp. Kyrgyz Republic have a fully fit side.

Probable Lineups

India (4-3-3)

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (GK), Rahul Bheke, Anwar Ali, Sandesh Jhingan, Akash Mishra, Suresh Wangjam, Brandon Fernandes, Anirudh Thapa, Bipin Singh, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Sunil Chhetri.

Kyrgyz Republic (4-2-3-1) 

Erzhan Tokotaev (GK), Zhyrgalbek Uulu Kairat, Tamirlan Kozubaev, Ayzar Akmatov, Aleksandr Mishchenko, Alimardon Shukurov, Erbol Atabaev, Sherali Yuldashev, Kai Merk, Raul Dzhalilov, Gulzhigit Alykulov.

Head to Head

Total Matches – 4 

India wins – 3

Kyrgyz Republic wins – 1

Draws – 0

Player to Watch

Anirudh Thapa (India)

Anirudh Thapa was sensational against Myanmar in the previous fixture. The midfielder scored the only goal of the game and helped his team win the game. He was a constant threat and moved the ball with ease. The fans roared with excitement after seeing him link up with the wingers and play several through balls into space for them.

He will be crucial for the Blue Tigers against the Kyrgyz Republic in unlocking their defence and providing an extra option in the box from the midfield with his late runs.

Shukurov Alimardon (Kyrgyz Republic)

Shukurov Alimardon is the skipper of the Kyrgyz Republic. The midfield maestro loves to influence the game and decide the tempo of the attack when his team has possession of the ball. He is dangerous in dead-ball situations therefore, Indian defenders must be cautious and not give away cheap fouls near the goalmouth area. 

Did You Know?

  • Naorem Mahesh Singh, Mehtab Singh, and Ritwik Das made their Indian senior debut in the game against Myanmar
  • The last time the Kyrgyz Republic won an international game was back in June 2022, when they beat Myanmar by a 2-0 scoreline.
  • Jeje Lalpekhlua scored for India when these two teams last met in 2018 which saw the Kyrgyz Republic record a 2-1 win over the Indian team


The kick-off is set for 6:00 PM and the match will be telecasted live on the Star Sports Network in India. The live streaming of the match will also be available on the Disney+ Hotstar app.

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