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King's Cup 2023: Rahul KP, Ashish Rai and Lal Chungnunga gets national team call-up

Published at :August 29, 2023 at 7:55 PM
Modified at :January 13, 2024 at 6:35 PM
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Analoy Majumder

Sunil Chhetri has been rested for the 49th King’s Cup

At the 700th Anniversary Stadium on September 7, India will play Iraq in the semifinal. On the same day, Lebanon will play the hosts, Thailand, in the other semifinal.

It was the beginning of a new era when India last participated in the King’s Cup in Thailand in June 2019 as Igor Stimac took over as manager of the Indian Football Team following an agonizingly last-second elimination from the AFC Asian Cup group stage only five months prior to that. Thus, Stimac this time did not left any chance of regret as he announced the best 23-member sqaud for the King’s Cup. And no wonder, it will be a very tough challenge for all players to overcome Sunil Chhetri’s absence in the match against Iraq.

If not them, who else?

There was no doubt that names like, Rahul KP, Ashish Rai and Lal Chungnunga will be called by the national team for this campaign. The perfromance of all the three players in last season’s Indian Super League (ISL) left fans with no question that they are the futures of the Indian Football.

Sunil Chhetri’s absence in the squad can make a huge difference so, coach Stimac called Rahul KP as the potential replacement of Chhetri in attacking third of the blue tigers. Coming to Asish Rai and Lal Chungnunga , they are even shinning currenlty in the on-going Durand Cup campaign under coaches like Carles Cuadrat‘s East Bengal FC and Juan Ferrando‘s Mohun Bagan SG.

Igor Stimac thus called up players like Rahul KP, Ashish Rai and Lal Chungnunga, hoping that they bring magic on the pitch and help the blue tigers to win the gold this time as they had to settle with bronze, the last time they participated in the King’s Cup in 2019.

India’s 23-member squad for the 2023 King’s Cup:

Head Coach: Igor Stimac

Goalkeepers: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Amrinder Singh, Gurmeet Singh.

Defenders: Asish Rai, Nikhil Poojary, Sandesh Jhingan, Anwar Ali, Mehtab Singh, Lalchungnunga, Akash Mishra, Subhasish Bose.

Midfielders: Jeakson Singh Thounaojam, Suresh Singh Wangjam, Brandon Fernandes, Sahal Abdul Samad, Anirudh Thapa, Rohit Kumar, Ashique Kuruniyan, Naorem Mahesh Singh, Lallianzuala Chhangte.

Forwards: Manvir Singh, Rahim Ali, Rahul KP

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